The close relation between the processes of paraxial diffraction and coherent diffusion is reflected in the similarity between their shape-preserving solutions, notably the Gaussian modes. Differences between these solutions enter only for high-order modes. Here we experimentally study the behavior of shape-preserving high-order modes of coherent diffusion, known as “elegant” modes, and contrast them with the nonshape-preserving evolution of the corresponding “standard” modes of optical diffraction. Diffusion of the light field is obtained by mapping it onto the atomic coherence field of a diffusing vapor in a storage-of-light setup. The growth of the elegant mode fits well the theoretical expectations.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 10, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: January 17, 2013
Published: April 1, 2013
Dimitry Yankelev, Ofer Firstenberg, Moshe Shuker, and Nir Davidson, "Shape-preserving diffusion of a high-order mode," Opt. Lett. 38, 1203-1205 (2013)