Mutual extinction of light (Vol. 51, No. 4)

Calculated total extinction in a setup with two beams incident on a rectangular box containing many scatterers, plotted versus the angle between the two beams.

In many branches of the natural sciences Nature is interrogated by performing wave scattering experiments. An incident wave impinges on a sample, and characteristics of the scattered and transmitted waves are analysed to find detailed information about the target.

When a single light wave is incident on a complex scattering medium, the transmitted intensity differs from the incident one due to extinction. We introduce the new concept of mutual extinction, which occurs when more than one light wave is incident and propose new experiments to observe mutual extinction and transparency in two-beam experiments with either elastic and absorbing scatterers.

A. Lagendijk et al., Mutual extinction and transparency of multiple incident light waves, EPL 130, 34002 (2020)