Multiple light scattering from disordered media. The effect of brownian motion of scatterers

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We have measured the time autocorrelation function of the light intensity multiply scattered from turbid aqueous suspensions of submicron size polystyrene spheres in directions near backscattering. It is found strongly non-exponential at short times revealing the very fast decay of coherence in extended scattering loops due to the thermal motion of the many spheres involved; the longest living decay time is found remarkably close to the single particle backscattering relaxation time even under conditions of interparticle interactions. These features are only weakly affected by the particular interference effect between time-reversed pairs of loops giving rise to the coherent backscattering enhancement. A simple argument is presented which accounts for these observations.

Dedicated to Prof. Klaus Dransfeld on the occasion of his 60th birthday