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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Jul 30;93(5):053903. Epub 2004 Jul 30.

Amplified extended modes in random lasers.

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  • 1European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy and INFM, Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy.


We report on a new random laser phenomenon that gives rise to narrow emission modes without requiring optical cavities. Sharp emission peaks are observed experimentally over a broad range of scattering strengths and analyzed in numerical calculations. We find that the introduction of exponential gain in a multiple light scattering process strongly increases the importance of very long light paths. Such long paths are rare and often neglected in passive disordered materials but we show that they can dominate the emission spectrum from an amplifying disordered system.

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