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Corman, L.; Ville, J. L.; Saint-Jalm, R.; Aidelsburger, M.; Bienaime, T.; Nascimbene, S.; Dalibard, J.; Beugnon, J. (2017): Transmission of near-resonant light through a dense slab of cold atoms. In: Physical Review A, Vol. 96, No. 5, 53629
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The optical properties of randomly positioned, resonant scatterers is a fundamentally difficult problem to address across a wide range of densities and geometries. We investigate it experimentally using a dense cloud of rubidium atoms probed with near-resonant light. The atoms are confined in a slab geometry with a subwavelength thickness. We probe the optical response of the cloud as its density and hence the strength of the light-induced dipole-dipole interactions are increased. We also describe a theoretical study based on a coupled dipole simulation which is further complemented by a perturbative approach. This model reproduces qualitatively the experimental observation of a saturation of the optical depth, a broadening of the transition, and a blueshift of the resonance.