Physicists were able to look at the branching of the light flux – the light beam was divided into many focused components. This effect occurs when a laser beam propagates in a soap film. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature.
A similar effect can be seen if you observe the beam in electric current and sound waves. Now physicists have achieved a similar effect in visible light.
Depending on the structure of the medium, different things can happen to the waves passing through them: they can weaken, scatter, bend, or continue to move as before. In order for the beams to diverge in different directions, several properties are required: the structure of the medium must be random, and the spatial changes in it must be greater than the wavelength of the stream.
It is believed that such an effect should manifest itself in waves of any type. Scientists have already observed it for electrons and microwave radiation. Despite this, until recently, the branching of the flow could not be observed in optics – that is, for electromagnetic waves in the vicinity of the visible range.
The authors emphasize that the discovery and experimental technique open up a whole direction for further research: for example, the surface curvature of a soap film can be changed in an optical medium. Thanks to this, it is possible to obtain a wide range of experimental data that will make it possible to refine and develop theoretical models, in particular, elements related to the general theory of relativity.