Historical perspective and basic principles

Christopher G. Poulton*, Michael J. Steel, Gustavo Wiederhecker, Luc Thévenaz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


We give a broad overview of the historical development and physics of Brillouin scattering. We discuss the seminal papers of Brillouin and Mandelstam and give the historical context of their research. We discuss the development of experiments and observations from the early, prelaser work to the present day. We then give a broad, nonmathematical explanation of Brillouin scattering as it is currently understood, and outline the different types of scattering as well as the conditions under which it occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrillouin scattering. Part 1
EditorsBenjamin J. Eggleton, Michael J. Steel, Christopher G. Poulton
Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780323989305
ISBN (Print)9780323989299
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameSemiconductors and Semimetals
ISSN (Print)0080-8784


  • Basic physics of Brillouin scattering
  • History of Brillouin scattering
  • Leon Brillouin
  • Leonid Mandelstam


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