Sensing and imaging methods based on the dynamic scattering of coherent light (including laser speckle, laser Doppler, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and diffusing wave spectroscopy) quantify scatterer motion using light intensity fluctuations. The underlying optical field autocorrelation, rather than being measured directly, is typically inferred from the intensity autocorrelation through the Siegert relationship, assuming that the scattered field obeys Gaussian statistics. Here, we demonstrate interferometric near-infrared spectroscopy for measuring the time-offlight (TOF) resolved field and intensity autocorrelations in turbid media. We find that the Siegert relationship breaks down for short TOFs due to static paths whose optical field does not decorrelate over experimental time scales. We also show that eliminating such paths by polarization gating restores the validity of the Siegert relationship. The unique capability of measuring optical field autocorrelations, as demonstrated here, enables the study of non-Gaussian and non-ergodic light scattering processes. Moreover, direct measurements of field autocorrelations are more efficient than indirect measurements based on intensity autocorrelations. Thus, optical field measurements may improve the quantification of scatterer dynamics with coherent light.
- Statistical optics
- Turbid media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics