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Coherent backscattering (CBS) arises from complex interactions of a coherent beam with randomly positioned particles, which has been typically studied in media with large numbers of scatterers and high opacity. We develop a first-principles scattering model for scalar waves to study the CBS cone formation in finite-sized and sparse random media with specific geometries. The current study provides insights into the effects of density, volume size, and other relevant parameters on the angular characteristics of the CBS cone emerging from sparse and bounded random media for various types of illumination, with results consistent with well-known CBS studies which are typically based on samples with much larger number of scatterers and higher opacity. The enhancements are observed in scattering medium with dimensions between 10× and 40× wavelength and the number of particles as few as 370. This work also highlights some of the potentials and limitations of employing the CBS phenomenon to characterize disordered configurations. The method developed here provides a foundation for studies of complex electromagnetic fields beyond simple incident classical beams in randomized geometries, including structured wavefronts in illumination and quantized fields for investigating the effects of the quantum nature of light in multiple scattering, with no further numerical complications.


This article was originally published in Scientific Reports, volume 12, in 2022.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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