Problem 9: Light Whiskers

When a laser beam enters a soap film at a small angle, a rapidly changing pattern of thin, branching light tracks may appear inside the film. Explain and investigate this
phenomenon.

I. Phenomenon Demonstration

II. Books, Encyclopedia, Discussion and Forum Posts

III. Research Paper

  • Startsev, A. V., & Stoilov, Y. Y. (2003). A miracle happening to a laser beam in a soap film. Quantum Electronics, 33(5), 380–382. doi:10.1070/qe2003v033n05abeh002422
  • Startsev, A. V., & Stoilov, Y. Y. (2004). On the nature of laser polariton tracks in soap films. Quantum Electronics, 34(6), 569–571. doi:10.1070/qe2004v034n06abeh002775
  • Emile, O., & Emile, J. (2014). Soap films as 1D waveguides. Optofluidics, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 1(open-issue). https://www.degruyter.com/view/journals/optof/open-issue/article-10.2478-optof-2014-0002/article-10.2478-optof-2014-0002.xml
  • Startsev, A. V., & Stoilov, Y. Y. (2012). Laser tracks in rainbow films on water. Quantum Electronics, 42(8), 750–752. doi:10.1070/qe2012v042n08abeh014844
  • Emile, J., Emile, O., & Casanova, F. (2013). Light guiding properties of soap films. EPL (Europhysics Letters), 101(3), 34005. doi:10.1209/0295-5075/101/34005
  • Patsyk, A., Bandres, M. A., Sivan, U., & Segev, M. (2019, May). Observation of branched flow of light. In 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) (pp. 1-2). IEEE. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2376-8
  • Shaping the branched flow of light through disordered media
    Andre Brandstötter, Adrian Girschik, Philipp Ambichl, Stefan Rotter
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jul 2019, 116 (27) 13260-13265; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1905217116