OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 21, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 2004
  • pp: 1799–1804

Depolarization of backscattered linearly polarized light

Luis Fernando Rojas-Ochoa, David Lacoste, Ralf Lenke, Peter Schurtenberger, and Frank Scheffold  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 21, Issue 9, pp. 1799-1804 (2004)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (160 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We formulate a quantitative description of backscattered linearly polarized light with an extended photon diffusion formalism taking explicitly into account the scattering anisotropy parameter g of the medium. From diffusing wave spectroscopy measurements, the characteristic depolarization length for linearly polarized light, lp, is deduced. We investigate the dependence of this length on the scattering anisotropy parameter g spanning an extended range from -1 (backscattering) to 1 (forward scattering). Good agreement is found with Monte Carlo simulations of multiply scattered light.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5620) Coherence and statistical optics : Radiative transfer
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering

Original Manuscript: January 29, 2004
Revised Manuscript: March 24, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: March 24, 2004
Published: September 1, 2004

Luis Fernando Rojas-Ochoa, David Lacoste, Ralf Lenke, Peter Schurtenberger, and Frank Scheffold, "Depolarization of backscattered linearly polarized light," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 1799-1804 (2004)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. D. A. Weitz, D. J. Pine, in Dynamic Light Scattering, W. Brown, ed. (Oxford U. Press, New York, 1993), Chap. 16, pp. 652–720.
  2. G. Maret, P. E. Wolf, “Multiple light-scattering from disordered media—the effect of Brownian motion of scatterers,” Z. Phys. B 65, 409–431 (1987). [CrossRef]
  3. D. J. Pine, D. A. Weitz, P. M. Chaikin, E. Herbolzheimer, “Diffusing-wave spectroscopy,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 60, 1134–1137 (1988). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. R. Lenke, G. Maret, in Multiple Scattering of Light: Coherent Backscattering and Transmission, W. Brown, ed. (Gordon & Breach, Reading, UK, 2000), pp. 1–72.
  5. E. Akkermans, P. E. Wolf, R. Maynard, G. Maret, “Theoretical study of the coherent backscattering of light by disordered media,” J. Phys. (Paris) 49, 77–98 (1988). [CrossRef]
  6. E. E. Gorodnichev, A. I. Kuzovlev, D. B. Rogozkin, “Diffusion of circularly polarized light in a disordered medium with large-scale inhomogeneities,” JETP Lett. 68, 22–28 (1998). [CrossRef]
  7. F. C. MacKintosh, J. X. Zhu, D. J. Pine, D. A. Weitz, “Polarization memory of multiply scattered light,” Phys. Rev. B 40, 9342–9345 (1989). [CrossRef]
  8. F. C. MacKintosh, S. John, “Diffusing-wave spectroscopy and multiple scattering of light in correlated random media,” Phys. Rev. B 40, 2383–2406 (1989). [CrossRef]
  9. D. Bicout, C. Brosseau, A. S. Martinez, J. M. Schmitt, “Depolarization of multiply scattered waves by spherical diffusers: influence of the size parameter,” Phys. Rev. E 49, 1767–1770 (1994). [CrossRef]
  10. V. L. Kuzmin, V. P. Romanov, “Multiply scattered light correlations in an expanded temporal range,” Phys. Rev. E 56, 6008 (1997). [CrossRef]
  11. D. Lacoste, V. Rossetto, F. Jaillon, H. Saint-Jalmes, “Geometric depolarization in patterns formed by backscattered light” Opt. Lett. (to be published).
  12. D. A. Zimnyakov, Y. P. Sinichkin, P. V. Zakharov, D. N. Agafonov, “Residual polarization of non-coherently backscattered linearly polarized light: the influence of the anisotropy parameter of the scattering medium,” Waves Random Media 11, 395–412 (2001). [CrossRef]
  13. A. D. Kim, J. B. Keller, “Light propagation in biological tissue,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 92–98 (2003). [CrossRef]
  14. M. Moscoso, J. B. Keller, G. Papanicolaou, “Depolarization and blurring of optical images by biological tissue,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 948–960 (2001). [CrossRef]
  15. P. Sebbah, Waves and Imaging through Complex Media (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2001).
  16. H. C. van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles (Dover, New York, 1981).
  17. C. F. Bohren, D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley, New York, 1983).
  18. L. F. Rojas-Ochoa, J. M. Mendez-Alcaraz, J. J. Saenz, P. Schurtenberger, F. Scheffold, “Photonic properties of strongly correlated colloidal liquids” Phys. Rev. Lett. (to be published). We note that in the present work we did not study concentrations above Φ=7.4%on account of a slow and streched long-time decay observed in this supercooled or glassy state. Note that these effects show up much more pronounced in backscattering DWS as compared with the transmission geometry studied previously.
  19. A. Ishimaru, Wave Propagation and Scattering in Random Media (Academic, New York, 1978).
  20. A. Lagendijk, R. Vreeker, P. DeVries, “Influence of internal reflection on diffusive transport in strongly scattering media,” Phys. Lett. A 136, 81–88 (1989). [CrossRef]
  21. J. X. Zhu, D. J. Pine, D. Weitz, “Internal reflection of diffusive light in random media,” Phys. Rev. A 44, 3948–3959 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. R. Lenke, G. Maret, “Magnetic field effects on coherent backscattering of light,” Eur. Phys. J. B 17, 171–185 (2000). [CrossRef]
  23. R. Lenke, R. Tweer, G. Maret, “Coherent backscattering of turbid samples containing large Mie spheres,” Pure Appl. Opt. 4, 293–298 (2002). [CrossRef]
  24. A. C. Maggs, V. Rossetto, “Writhing photons and Berry phases in polarized multiple scattering,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 253901 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. A. H. Hielscher, A. A. Eick, J. R. Mourant, D. Shen, J. P. Freyer, I. J. Bigio, “Diffuse backscattering Mueller matrices of highly scattering media,” Opt. Express1, 441–453 (1997); www.opticsexpress.org . [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. A. G. Yodh, P. D. Kaplan, D. J. Pine, “Pulsed diffusing-wave spectroscopy—high resolution through nonlinear optical gating,” Phys. Rev. B 42, 4744–4747 (1990). [CrossRef]
  27. L. F. Rojas-Ochoa, S. Romer, F. Scheffold, P. Schurtenberger, “Diffusing wave spectroscopy and small-angle neutron scattering from concentrated colloidal suspensions,” Phys. Rev. E 65, 051403 (2002). [CrossRef]
  28. M. Rosenbluh, M. Hoshen, I. Freund, M. Kaveh, “Time evolution of universal optical fluctuations,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 2754–2757 (1987). [PubMed]
  29. I. Freund, M. Kaveh, “Comment on ‘Polarization memory of multiply scattered light’,” Phys. Rev. B 45, 8162–8163 (1992).
  30. F. C. MacKintosh, J. X. Zhu, D. J. Pine, D. A. Weitz, “Reply to ‘Comment on “Polarization memory of multiply scattered light”’,” Phys. Rev. B 45, 8165 (1992).
  31. F. Scheffold, “Particle sizing with diffusing wave spectroscopy,” J. Dispersion Sci. Technol. 23, 591–599 (2002).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited