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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 40, Iss. 9 — Mar. 20, 2001
  • pp: 1548–1558

Experimental observation of rainbow scattering by a coated cylinder: twin primary rainbows and thin-film interference

Charles L. Adler, James A. Lock, Justin K. Nash, and Kirk W. Saunders  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 40, Issue 9, pp. 1548-1558 (2001)

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We experimentally examine the primary rainbow created by the illumination of a coated cylinder. We present a simple technique for varying the coating thickness over a wide range of values, and we see evidence for two different scattering regimes. In one, where the coating thickness is large, twin rainbows are produced. In the second, where the coating is thin enough to act as a thin film, a single rainbow is produced whose intensity varies periodically as the coating thickness varies. We find good agreement with previous theoretical predictions.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.4120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Moire' techniques
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(290.4020) Scattering : Mie theory

Original Manuscript: August 10, 2000
Revised Manuscript: December 5, 2000
Published: March 20, 2001

Charles L. Adler, James A. Lock, Justin K. Nash, and Kirk W. Saunders, "Experimental observation of rainbow scattering by a coated cylinder: twin primary rainbows and thin-film interference," Appl. Opt. 40, 1548-1558 (2001)

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