Experimental observation of speckle instability in Kerr random media

U. Bortolozzo, S. Residori, P. Sebbah

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In a disordered nonlinear medium the transmitted speckle pattern was predicted to become unstable as a result of the positive feedback between intensity fluctuations and local variations of the refractive index. We show experimental evidence of speckle instability for light transversally scattered in a liquid crystal cell, where a two-dimensional controlled disorder is imprinted by suitable illumination of a photoconductive wall and nonlinearity is obtained through optical reorientation of the liquid crystal molecules. The speckle pattern spontaneously oscillates at discrete frequencies above a critical threshold, whose dependence on the scattering mean free path confirms the crucial role of disorder in the feedback process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103903
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - 11 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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