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Direct determination of the transition to localization of light in three dimensions


Sperling, T; Bührer, W; Aegerter, C M; Maret, G (2012). Direct determination of the transition to localization of light in three dimensions. Nature Photonics, 7(1):48-52.

Abstract

Diffusive wave transport in three-dimensional media should show a phase transition, with increasing disorder, to a state without transport. This transition was first discussed by Anderson1 in the context of the metal–insulator transition, but is generic for all waves, as was realized later2, 3. However, the quest for the experimental demonstration of ‘Anderson’ localization in three dimensions has been a challenging task. For electrons4 and cold atoms5, 6, the challenge lies in the possibility of bound states in a disordered potential. Therefore, electromagnetic and acoustic waves have been the prime candidates for the observation of Anderson localization. The main challenge in using light lies in the distinction between the effects of absorption and localization. Here, we present measurements of the time dependence of the transverse width of the transmitted-light intensity distribution, which provides a direct measure of the localization length, independent of absorption. This provides direct evidence for a localization transition in three dimensions.

Diffusive wave transport in three-dimensional media should show a phase transition, with increasing disorder, to a state without transport. This transition was first discussed by Anderson1 in the context of the metal–insulator transition, but is generic for all waves, as was realized later2, 3. However, the quest for the experimental demonstration of ‘Anderson’ localization in three dimensions has been a challenging task. For electrons4 and cold atoms5, 6, the challenge lies in the possibility of bound states in a disordered potential. Therefore, electromagnetic and acoustic waves have been the prime candidates for the observation of Anderson localization. The main challenge in using light lies in the distinction between the effects of absorption and localization. Here, we present measurements of the time dependence of the transverse width of the transmitted-light intensity distribution, which provides a direct measure of the localization length, independent of absorption. This provides direct evidence for a localization transition in three dimensions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:20 Feb 2013 14:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:31
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1749-4885
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/NPHOTON.2012.313
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-73769

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