Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Michael A. Marciniak, PhD.


Imaging of trapped atoms in three dimensions utilizing a light field microscope is demonstrated in this work. Such a system is of interest in the development of atom interferometer accelerometers in dynamic systems where strictly defined focal planes may be impractical. A light field microscope was constructed utilizing a Lytro® Development Kit micro-lens array and sensor. It was used to image fluorescing rubidium atoms in a magneto-optical trap. The three-dimensional (3D) volume of the atoms is reconstructed using a modeled point spread function (PSF), taking into consideration the low magnification (1.25) of the system which changed typical assumptions in the optics model for the PSF. The 3D reconstruction is analyzed with respect to a standard off-axis fluorescence image. Optical axis separation between two atom clouds is measured to a 100µm accuracy in a 3mm deep volume, with a 16µm in-focus standard resolution and a 3.9mm by 3.9mm field of view. Optical axis spreading is observed in the reconstruction and discussed. Absorption imaging with the light field microscope is also analyzed. The 3D images can be used to determine properties of the atom cloud with a single camera and single atom image which will be needed to create atom interferometers capable of inertial navigation.

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