OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2003
  • pp: 412–417

Observation of the enhanced backscattering of light by the end of a tilted dielectric cylinder owing to the caustic merging transition

Philip L. Marston, Yibing Zhang, and David B. Thiessen  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 3, pp. 412-417 (2003)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (283 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The scattering of light by obliquely illuminated circular dielectric cylinders was previously demonstrated to be enhanced by a merger of Airy caustics at a critical tilt angle. [Appl. Opt. 37, 1534 (1998)]. A related enhancement is demonstrated here for backward and near-backward scattering for cylinders cut with a flat end perpendicular to the cylinder’s axis. It is expected that merged caustics will enhance the backscattering by clouds of randomly oriented circular cylinders that have appropriately flat ends.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.2940) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Ice crystal phenomena
(060.2300) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber measurements
(080.1510) Geometric optics : Propagation methods
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

Original Manuscript: January 14, 2002
Revised Manuscript: March 29, 2002
Published: January 20, 2003

Philip L. Marston, Yibing Zhang, and David B. Thiessen, "Observation of the enhanced backscattering of light by the end of a tilted dielectric cylinder owing to the caustic merging transition," Appl. Opt. 42, 412-417 (2003)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. A. Lock, C. L. Adler, “Debye series analysis of the first order rainbow produced in scattering of a diagonally incident plane wave by a circular cylinder,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1316–1328 (1997). [CrossRef]
  2. C. L. Adler, J. A. Lock, B. R. Stone, C. J. Garcia, “Higher-order interior caustics produced in scattering of diagonally incident plane wave by a circular cylinder,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1305–1315 (1997). [CrossRef]
  3. P. L. Marston, “Descartes glare points in scattering by icicles: color photographs and a tilted dielectric cylinder model of caustic and glare point evolution,” Appl. Opt. 37, 1551–1556 (1998). [CrossRef]
  4. C. M. Mount, D. B. Thiessen, P. L. Marston, “Scattering observations for tilted transparent fibers: evolution of Airy caustics with cylinder tilt and the caustic merging transition,” Appl. Opt. 37, 1534–1539 (1998). [CrossRef]
  5. L. Mees, K. F. Ren, G. Grehan, G. Gouesbet, “Scattering of a Gaussian beam by an infinite cylinder with arbitrary location and arbitrary orientation: numerical results,” Appl. Opt. 38, 1867–1876 (1999). [CrossRef]
  6. J. A. Lock, C. L. Adler, E. A. Hovenac, “Exterior caustics produced in scattering of a diagonally incident plane wave by a circular cylinder: semiclassical scattering theory analysis,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 17, 1846–1856 (2000). [CrossRef]
  7. P. L. Marston, “Optical caustics and related phenomena,” in On Minnaert’s Shoulders: Twenty Years of Light and Color Conferences, C. L. Adler, ed., Vol. 1 of Classic Reprints on CD-ROM (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 2000).
  8. F. J. Blonigen, P. L. Marston, “Backscattering enhancements for tilted solid plastic cylinders in water due to the caustic merging transition: observations and theory,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 689–698 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. D. K. Lynch, W. Livingston, Color and Light in Nature (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, 1995).
  10. W. Tape, Atmospheric Halos, Vol. 64 of Antarctic Research Series (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 1994).
  11. K. N. Liou, Y. Takano, P. Yang, “Light scattering and radiative transfer in ice crystal clouds: Applications to climate research,” in Light Scattering by Nonspherical Particles, M. I. Mishchenko, J. W. Hovenier, L. D. Travis, eds. (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 2000), Chap. 15, pp. 417–449. [CrossRef]
  12. K. Sassen, W. P. Arnott, J. M. Barnett, S. Aulenbach, “Can cirrus clouds produce glories?” Appl. Opt. 37, 1427–1433 (1998). [CrossRef]
  13. D. S. Langley, P. L. Marston, “Glory in optical backscattering from air bubbles,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 47, 913–916 (1981). [CrossRef]
  14. P. L. Marston, “Geometrical and catastrophe optics methods in scattering,” in Physical Acoustics, A. D. Pierce, R. N. Thurston, eds. (Academic, Boston, Mass., 1992), Vol. 21, pp. 1–234.
  15. R. T. Wang, H. C. van de Hulst, “Rainbows: Mie computations and the Airy approximation,” Appl. Opt. 30, 106–117 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. H. M. Nussenzveig, Diffraction Effects in Semiclassical Scattering (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, 1992). [CrossRef]
  17. Y. Takano, M. Tanaka, “Phase matrix and cross sections for single scattering by circular cylinders: a comparison of ray optics and wave theory,” Appl. Opt. 19, 2781–2793 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. F. Kuik, J. F. Dehaan, J. W. Hovenier, “Single scattering of light by circular cylinders,” Appl. Opt. 33, 4906–4918 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. M. I. Mishchenko, L. D. Travis, A. Macke, “Scattering of light by polydisperse, randomly oriented, finite circular cylinders,” Appl. Opt. 35, 4927–4940 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. M. I. Mishchenko, K. Sassen, “Depolarization of lidar returns by small ice crystals: an application to contrails,” Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 309–312 (1998). [CrossRef]
  21. Y. G. Liu, W. P. Arnott, J. Hallett, “Anomalous diffraction theory for arbitrarily oriented finite circular cylinders and comparison with exact T-matrix results,” Appl. Opt. 37, 5019–5030 (1998). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited