Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shedding light on Anderson localization

Date:
December 20, 2012
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
Waves do not spread in a disordered medium if there is less than one wavelength between two defects. Physicists have now proved Nobel Prize winner Philip W. Anderson's theory directly for the first time using the diffusion of light in a cloudy medium.

Diffusion of light in a disordered, cloudy medium at intervals of one nanosecond (= billionth of a second). After approximately four nanoseconds, the light can no longer spread any further in the medium.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Zurich

Waves do not spread in a disordered medium if there is less than one wavelength between two defects. Physicists from the universities of Zurich and Constance have now proved Nobel Prize winner Philip W. Anderson's theory directly for the first time using the diffusion of light in a cloudy medium.

Related Articles


Light cannot spread in a straight line in a cloudy medium like milk because the many droplets of fat divert the light as defects. If the disorder -- the concentration of defects -- exceeds a certain level, the waves are no longer able to spread in a cloudy medium at all. Philip. W. Anderson was the first to describe this transition to a localized wave in 1958, which is why it is also referred to as Anderson localization. Until now, however, Anderson localization had never been observed. For the first time, physicists from the universities of Zurich and Constance have now demonstrated the Anderson localization of light directly in an experiment. As their article published in the science journal Nature Photonics reveals, the Anderson localization of light only occurs in much cloudier media than milk -- in other words, only if there is only about one wavelength between two defects.

Light propagation followed closely to a billionth of a second

For their study, the team examined the diffusion of light in a very strongly scattering medium. "In order to make the diffusion of the light and thus Anderson localization visible, pictures had to be taken at an interval of less than a billionth of a second," says Christof Aegerter, explaining the technical challenges of the project. Based on these high-resolution images, the researchers were able to show that in the case of Anderson localization light is no longer able to spread any further in the medium after around four billionths of a second (or nanoseconds).

Until now, it was very difficult to calculate certain characteristics of localized states, such as how large the critical concentration of the defects is. "Thanks to our experimental data, the theory will gain new impetus and be able to be refined further," Aegerter is convinced.

The Anderson localization of waves is a general phenomenon that occurs in all waves with a heavy scattering and is also of practical importance: It describes, among other things, the transition between a conductor and an isolator.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Sperling, W. Bόhrer, C. M. Aegerter, G. Maret. Direct determination of the transition to localization of light in three dimensions. Nature Photonics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2012.313

Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "Shedding light on Anderson localization." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220080136.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2012, December 20). Shedding light on Anderson localization. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220080136.htm
University of Zurich. "Shedding light on Anderson localization." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220080136.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins