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Experimental Observation of a Fundamental Length Scale of Waves in Random Media

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Metzger,  Jakob J.
Department of Nonlinear Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Fleischmann,  Ragnar
Department of Nonlinear Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Barkhofen, S., Metzger, J. J., Fleischmann, R., Kuhl, U., & Stöckemann, H.-J. (2013). Experimental Observation of a Fundamental Length Scale of Waves in Random Media. Physical Review Letters, 111(18): 183902. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.183902.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-0F9B-9
Abstract
Waves propagating through a weakly scattering random medium show a pronounced branching of the flow accompanied by the formation of freak waves, i.e., extremely intense waves. Theory predicts that this strong fluctuation regime is accompanied by its own fundamental length scale of transport in random media, parametrically different from the mean free path or the localization length. We show numerically how the scintillation index can be used to assess the scaling behavior of the branching length. We report the experimental observation of this scaling using microwave transport experiments in quasi-two-dimensional resonators with randomly distributed weak scatterers. Remarkably, the scaling range extends much further than expected from random caustics statistics.