Sarthak Subhankar, Yang Wang, Tsz-Chun Tsui, Steven Rolston, James V. Porto
Quantum simulations with ultracold atoms typically create atomic wavefunctions with structure at optical length scales, where direct imaging suffers from the diffraction limit. In analogy to advances in optical microscopy for biological applications, we use a non-linear atomic response to surpass the diffraction limit. Exploiting quantum interference, we demonstrate imaging with superresolution of λ/100 and excellent temporal resolution of 500 ns. We characterize our microscope's performance by measuring the ensemble averaged wavefunction of atoms within the unit cells of an optical lattice, and observe the dynamics of atoms excited into periodic motion. This approach can be readily applied to image any atomic or molecular system, as long as it hosts a threelevel system.