J. Phys. IV France
Volume 119, November 2004
Page(s) 19 - 26

J. Phys. IV France 119 (2004) 19-26

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2004119004

Quantum mesoscopic physics: Coherent backscattering of light by cold atoms

T. Chanelière, G. Labeyrie, C. Miniatura, D. Wilkowski and R. Kaiser

Laboratoire Ondes et Désordre, FRE 2302, 1361 route des Lucioles 06560 Valbonne, France

Propagation in a random medium is often described by a random walk and a diffusion coefficient. However in the mesoscopic regime, where wave properties cannot be neglected, interferences alter the diffusion process leading in extreme situations to strong (Anderson) localisation. The recent observation of coherent backscattering of light by laser cooled atoms has opened the way to new studies in previously not accessible regimes. In this paper we present some of the questions addressed by these experiments, allowing for a more complete understanding of the physical processes involved in this quantum mesoscopic regime.

© EDP Sciences 2004