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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 73, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1983
  • pp: 1626–1628

Why can the supernumerary bows be seen in a rain shower?

Alistair B. Fraser  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA, Vol. 73, Issue 12, pp. 1626-1628 (1983)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSA.73.001626


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Abstract

Although the spectra of drop radii in rain showers are broad, the supernumerary bows are caused by only those drops with radii of about 0.25 mm. The angle of minimum deviation, the rainbow angle, is a function of drop size, being large for big drops, owing to drop distortion, and large for small drops, owing to interference. Between these extremes, there is a minimum rainbow angle. The drops that cause it give rise to the supernumerary bows.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

Citation
Alistair B. Fraser, "Why can the supernumerary bows be seen in a rain shower?," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 1626-1628 (1983)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?URI=josa-73-12-1626


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References

  1. T. Young, "Experiments and calculations relative to physical optics," Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 1–16 (1804). This is the publication of the Bakerian Lecture of 1803.
  2. G. B. Airy, "On the intensity of light in the neighbourhood of a caustic," Trans. Cambridge Philos. Soc. VI, 397–403 (1838); VIII, 595–600 (1849).
  3. H. C. van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles (Wiley, New York, 1957), p. 245.
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  5. J. E. McDonald. "The shape and aerodynamics of large raindrops," J. Meteorol. 11, 478–494 (1954).
  6. W. Moebius, "Zur Theorie des Regenbogens un ihrer experimentellen Prufung," Ph.D. Dissertation, Leipzig, 1907; Abh. Wiss. Kgl. Ges. Sachsen Math. Phys. Kl. (1907); also see F. E. Volz, "Some aspects of the optics of the rainbow and the physics of rain," in The Physics of Precipitation, H. Weickmann, ed., Vol. 5 of American Geophysical Union Monograph Series (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 1960), pp. 280–286.
  7. H. R. Pruppacher and J. D. Klett, Microphysics of Clouds and Precipitation (Reidel, The Netherlands, 1978), p. 315.
  8. A. W. Green, "An approximation for the shapes of large raindrops," J. Appl. Meteorol. 14, 1578–1583 (1975), Eq. (6).

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