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Randomness serves many purposes where materials sciences and optical sciences meet. It can provide the raw material for self-organization. It can uniformize optical properties, make manufacturing easier, and assure a great deal of noise immunity. Although all of those features are commonly exhibited together, we illustrate them with examples in which one tends to dominate the other. Specifically, we discuss the examples of powder lasers, self-organized pseudorandom surfaces for Raman spectroscopy, and designer diffusers
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