Time-resolved optical phase space distributions for coherent backscatter

A. Wax*, F. Reil, K. F. Lee, S. Bali, J. E. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We explore enhanced backscatter from a random medium using time-resolved optical phase space measurement, i.e. measurement of joint position and momentum (x, p) distributions of the light field as a function of propagation time in the medium. Enhanced backscatter is a coherent effect and is not predicted by radiative transport theories. By using a low-coherence source in a heterodyne detection scheme, we observe enhanced backscattering resolved by path length in the random medium, effectively providing timing resolution. Such time-resolved studies are important for exploring the evolution of optical coherence as a function of penetration depth in the random medium. Optical phase space methods provide a visual as well as quantitative method of characterizing the spatial coherence properties and wavefront curvature of the input and scattered fields. These techniques may provide new venues for using optical coherence in medical imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-134
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
EventSaratov Fall Meeting '99: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine - Saratov, Russia
Duration: Oct 5 1999Oct 8 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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