Wyant, James C. College of Optical Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
Karovska, Margarita Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Basic phenomenon
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The generation of a random intensity distribution, called a speckle pattern, when light from a highly coherent source, such as a laser, is scattered by a rough surface or inhomogeneous medium. Although the speckle phenomenon has been known since the time of Isaac Newton, the development of the laser is responsible for the present-day interest in speckle. Speckle has proved to be a universal nuisance as far as most laser applications are concerned, and only in the mid-1970s did investigators turn from the unwanted aspects of speckle toward the uses of speckle patterns, in a wide variety of applications. See also: Laser
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