Origin of low-coherence enhanced backscattering

Young L. Kim*, Prabhakar Pradhan, Hariharan Subramanian, Yang Liu, Min H. Kim, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The origin of low-coherence enhanced backscattering (EBS) of light in random media when the spatial coherence length of illumination is much smaller than the transport mean free path has been poorly understood. We report that in weakly scattering discrete random media low-coherence EBS originates from time-reversed paths of double scattering. Low spatial coherence illumination dephases the time-reversed waves outside its finite coherence area, which isolates the minimal number of scattering events in EBS from higher-order scattering. Moreover, we show the first experimental evidence that the minimal number of scattering events in EBS is double scattering, which has been hypothesized since the first observation of EBS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1459-1461
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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