In various everyday situations, a characteristic interference pattern can be observed on water surfaces. This pattern can be divided into two overlapping components: a corona and a system of Quételet’s rings, often with only a section of these visible in the form of fringes. We attribute this phenomenon to thin films of small spheres located just above the reflecting water surface. Due to differences in the optical arrangement, explanatory models applicable for conventionally produced Quételet’s rings are not transferable. We present a compatible mathematical model and some obvious analogies in order to explain the occurrence and properties of this phenomenon.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 6, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 19, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 21, 2009
Published: September 2, 2009
Wilfried Suhr and H. Joachim Schlichting, "Quételet's fringes due to scattering by small spheres just above a reflecting surface," Appl. Opt. 48, 4978-4984 (2009)