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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 69, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 1979
  • pp: 1205–1211

Critical angle scattering by a bubble: physical-optics approximation and observations

Philip L. Marston  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 69, Issue 9, pp. 1205-1211 (1979)

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The intensity of light scattered by an air bubble in water is predicted by the geometric-optics calculation of Davis (1955) to have a divergent angular derivative as the critical-scattering angle Φc is approached. Effects of diffraction in the angular region near Φc are described here. The Fraunhofer diffraction for scattering angles Φ≤Φc is estimated using a simplified physical-optics approximation. A ringing and decay of the far-field intensity is predicted that is formally similar to the near-field diffraction of a straight edge. Observation of millimeter radius bubbles in water with collimated monochromatic illumination confirm the existence of this ringing which has a quasi period ≃ 25 mrad. The diffraction calculation gives an approximate description of the relative Φ of theobserved maxima and minima. Fringes with a lower contrast and spacing ≃0.3 mrad were also observed; they appear to be caused by the interference of rays with distinct paths. Implications for the critical angle scattering of white light are discussed.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

Philip L. Marston, "Critical angle scattering by a bubble: physical-optics approximation and observations," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1205-1211 (1979)

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  1. G. E. Davis, "Scattering of light by an air bubble in water," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 572–581 (1955).
  2. R. J. Withrington, "Light scattering by bubbles in a bubble chamber," Appl. Opt. 7, 175–181 (1968).
  3. G. B. Airy, "On the intensity of light in the neighborhood of a caustic," Trans. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 6, 379–402 (1838).
  4. H. C. Van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles (Wiley, New York, 1957).
  5. H. M. Nussenzveig, "The theory of the rainbow," Sci. Am. 236, No. 4, 116–127 (1977).
  6. V. Khare and H. M. Nussenzveig, "Theory of the rainbow," Phys. Rev. Lett. 33, 976–980 (1974).
  7. D. A. Glaser, in Handbuch der Physik edited by S. Flugge, Vol. 45, (Springer.-Verlag, Berlin, 1958).
  8. G. R. Fowles, Introduction to Modern Optics 2nd ed. (Holt, New York, 1975, Sec. 2.7–2.10.
  9. L. A. Segel, Mathematics Applied to Continuum Mechanics (Macmillan, New York, 1977) Appendix 9.1.
  10. See for example, ref. 8, Fig. 5.25.
  11. D. C. Blanchard and L. D. Syzdek, "Production of air bubbles of a specified size," Chem. Engng Sci. 32, 1109–1112 (1977).
  12. J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics (McGraw Hill, San Francisco, 1968) Chap. 5.
  13. Ref. 12, Sec. 7.2.
  14. M. E. Mascart, Traite D'Optique Vol. I (Gauthier-Villars et Fils, Paris, 1889), Sec. 195.
  15. The polarization dependence of this phenomenon was not determined in these observations.
  16. P. L. Marston and R. E. Apfel, "Acoustically forced shape oscillations of hydrocarbon drops levitated in water," J. Colloid Interface Sci. 68, 280–286 (1979).
  17. P. L. Marston and R. E. Apfel, "Quadrupole resonance of drops driven by modulated acoustic radiation pressure-experimental properties," (unpublished).
  18. H. M. Nussenzveig, "High-frequency scattering by a transparent sphere," J. Math. Phys. 10, 82–124 (1969).
  19. D. Ludwig, "Diffraction by a circular cavity," J. Math. Phys. 11, 1617–1630 (1970).

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