Superfluorescent Rayleigh scattering from suspensions of dielectric particles

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We demonstrate that superfluorescent scattering of light can occur when laser light is incident on a collection of dielectric Rayleigh particles suspended in a viscous medium. Using a linear stability analysis, an expression for the spatiotemporal evolution of the scattered (probe) field is derived. An approximate condition for the progression of the interaction into the nonlinear regime is deduced and it is shown that, in the nonlinear regime, the scattered field intensity shows the characteristic quadratic dependence on particle density expected from a superfluorescent or superradiant process, once the effects of pump depletion are accounted for.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123903
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2003


  • superfluorescent scattering
  • dielectric Rayleigh particles
  • nonlinear physics
  • optics


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