Hi there! I have a couple of questions for you guys about Spatial Light Modulators and laser beam profile aberrations. In the laboratory where I work we have a setup with which we can create a Bose-Einstein condensate and do all kinds of funky stuff with it. We have (as far as we know) the largest condensate in the world (~300 million atoms). This is achieved by using laser cooling of atoms and then trapping them in a Magnetic Optical Trap. For the imaging of this we use a probe beam that shines on the condensate and thus casts a shadow on the detector behind it. The beam is currently Gaussian in terms of wavefront and we need to get it a top hat wavefront. Aside from that we also want to be able to adjust the beam so that in the future we can use different kinds of imaging. And then there is the problem of small aberrations: our current setup has many aberrations due to the high amount of mirrors and lenses. In the end we have an unclean Gaussian beam that needs to be a clean top hat beam. For this we decided to use a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM). Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs) are unsuitable because they cannot be adjusted. You just put them there, they give you a top hat and that's it. We need something that we can 'play' with and adjust in the future. So what kind of SLM can I use? I have been looking at primarily Liquid Crystal SLM's and am particulary interested in a Hamamatsu LCOS-SLM (a reflective type of SLM) but the LC type of SLM are said to have lots of static in the 60 Hz - 1 kHz area. Deformable Mirrors (DM) are said to be quite handy but also very expansive. A Thorlabs DM of 15000 euro's is around the maximum of our budget, but what are the limitations of DM? And has anyone experience in wavefront correction of imaging lasers through SLMs? And what kind of SLM is most suitable for me?