Radiation propagation in random media: From positive to negative correlations...

Davis, A. B., and M. B. Mineev-Weinstein (2011), Radiation propagation in random media: From positive to negative correlations in high-frequency fluctuations, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 112, 632-645, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2010.10.001.

We survey research on radiation propagation or ballistic particle motion through media with randomly variable material density, and we investigate the topic with an emphasis on very high spatial frequencies. Our new results are based on a specific variability model consisting of a zero-mean Gaussian scaling noise riding on a constant value that is large enough with respect to the amplitude of the noise to yield overwhelmingly non-negative density. We first generalize known results about sub-exponential transmission from regular functions, which are almost everywhere continuous, to merely ‘‘measurable’’ ones, which are almost everywhere discontinuous (akin to statistically stationary noises), with positively correlated fluctuations. We then use the generalized measure-theoretic formulation to address negatively correlated stochastic media without leaving the framework of conventional (continuum-limit) transport theory. We thus resolve a controversy about recent claims that only discrete-point process approaches can accommodate negative correlations, i.e., anti-clustering of the material particles. We obtain in this case the predicted super-exponential behavior, but it is rather weak. Physically, and much like the alternative discrete-point process approach, the new model applies most naturally to scales commensurate with the inter-particle distance in the material, i.e., when the notion of particle density breaks down due to Poissonian—or maybe not-so-Poissonian—number-count fluctuations occur in the sample volume. At the same time, the noisy structure must prevail up to scales commensurate with the mean-free-path to be of practical significance. Possible applications are discussed.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)