Ultracold atoms are emerging as an important platform for precision sensing and measurement, quantum information science, and simulations of condensed-matter phenomena. Microscopic imaging is a powerful tool for measuring cold-atom systems, enabling the readout of ultracold atomic simulators1, 2 and registers3, the characterization of inhomogeneous environments4, and the determination of spatially varying thermodynamic quantities5, 6, 7, 8. Cold-atom microscopy has recently been demonstrated with imaging resolution sufficient to detect and address single9 or multiple10 atoms at individual optical-lattice sites with lattice spacings of micrometres11, 12 and below1, 2, 13, 14. However, those methods, which rely either on the fluorescence1, 2, 9, 11, 12, 13 or ionization10, 14 of atoms, destroy the quantum states being measured and have limited dynamic range. Here we demonstrate magnetic resonance imaging of atomic gases in optical lattices, obtained by dispersively coupling atoms to a high-finesse optical cavity. We achieve state-sensitive, single-lattice-site images with high dynamic range. We also apply this technique to measure the non-equilibrium transport dynamics of the gas.
At a glance
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- Supplementary Information (350k)