A review is given of some of the basic properties and mechanisms of Anderson Localization which arise from random disorder in transport media. In disordered optical and electron systems Anderson localization originates from phase coherent scattering in the systems, causing the wavefunctions in the media to transform from extended waves to waves confined to be bound in a finite region of space. The specific form of the phase coherent scattering has been observed in a variety of effects found in classical and quantum physics. In this regard, localization is present in wave phenomena and is observed in both classical and quantum physics. For infinite systems with localized wavefunctions at zero temperature, there is no transport. However, upon the introduction of temperature fluctuations into the medium conductivity through hopping between localized states occurs. In materials which are periodic on average the interaction of periodicity and random disorder both affect the nature of localization and the system wavefunctions. This interaction shows up in the size of the region over which the wavefunctions are bound and its dependence on periodicity and disorder. In nonlinear media the interaction of nonlinearity with the disorder gives rise to new forms of localization. A variety of interesting physical effects due to localization are observed in electronic and optical systems. Anderson Localization shows up in electronic media as a metal-insulator transition and in optical media in retro-reflectance phenomena. Localization is also an important component of the theory of the quantum Hall effect.
Prof. McGurn has been a Western Michigan University faculty member since 1981 and a full Professor of Physics at WMU since 1993. His area of research is in condensed matter physics and optics.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1975.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Electromagnetics Academy and the Optical Society of America.
Prof. McGurn authored a book on Non-linear Optics of Photonic Crystals and Metamaterials published by Morgan & Claypool Publishers (Also available through IOP ebooks).