Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 3, February 2004
Page(s) 414 - 419
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 January 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (3) , pp. 414-419 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10084-4

Photon channelling in foams

A. S. Gittings, R. Bandyopadhyay and D. J. Durian

UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy - Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547, USA

(Received 19 August 2003; accepted in final form 12 November 2003)

We report on the absorption of diffuse photons in aqueous foams by a dye added to the continuous liquid phase. For very wet and for dry foams, the absorption of the diffuse photons equals the absorption length of the liquid divided by the liquid volume fraction. This indicates that the diffuse photons propagate by a random walk, sampling each phase in proportion to its volume. Foams of intermediate wetness, by contrast, absorb photons more strongly than expected. A 2D computer simulation, modeling photons scattering in a foam crystal, also shows enhanced absorption. This encourages us to consider novel transport effects, such as the total internal reflection of photons inside the Plateau borders.

82.70.Rr - Aerosols and foams.
42.68.Ay - Propagation, transmission, attenuation, and radiative transfer.

© EDP Sciences 2004