We use the semiclassical limit of electromagnetic wave scattering theory to determine the properties of the exterior caustics of a diagonally incident plane wave scattered by an infinitely long homogeneous dielectric circular cylinder in both the near zone and the far zone. The transmission caustic has an exterior/interior cusp transition as the tilt angle of the incident beam is increased, and each of the rainbow caustics has a far-zone rainbow/exterior cusp transition and an exterior/interior cusp transition as the incident beam tilt angle is increased. We experimentally observe and analyze both transitions of the first-order rainbow. We also compare the predictions of the semiclassical approximation with those of ray theory and exact electromagnetic wave scattering theory.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
James A. Lock, Charles L. Adler, and Edward 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. A 17, 1846-1856 (2000)