Observation of open scattering channels

Reinier van der Meer, Michiel de Goede, Ben Kassenberg, Pim Venderbosch, Henk Snijders, Jorn Epping, Caterina Taballione, Hans van den Vlekkert, Jelmer J. Renema, Pepijn W. H. Pinkse

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic

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The existence of fully transmissive eigenchannels ("open channels") in a random scattering medium is a counterintuitive and unresolved prediction of random matrix theory. The smoking gun of such open channels, namely a bimodal distribution of the transmission efficiencies of the scattering channels, has so far eluded experimental observation. We observe an experimental distribution of transmission efficiencies that obeys the predicted bimodal Dorokhov-Mello-Pereyra-Kumar distribution. Thereby we show the existence of open channels in a linear optical scattering system. The characterization of the scattering system is carried out by a quantum-optical readout method. We find that missing a single channel in the measurement already prevents detection of the open channels, illustrating why their observation has proven so elusive until now. Our work confirms a long-standing prediction of random matrix theory underlying wave transport through disordered systems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2021


  • physics.optics

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