Self-Similar Modes of Coherent Diffusion Academic Article uri icon


  • Self-similar solutions of the coherent diffusion equation are derived and measured. The set of real similarity solutions is generalized by the introduction of a nonuniform phase surface, based on the elegant Gaussian modes of optical diffraction. In an experiment of light storage in a gas of diffusing atoms, a complex initial condition is imprinted, and its diffusion dynamics is monitored. The self-similarity of both the amplitude and the phase pattern is demonstrated, and an algebraic decay associated with the mode order is measured. Notably, as opposed to a regular diffusion spreading, a self-similar contraction of a special subset of the solutions is predicted and observed.

publication date

  • October 1, 2010