Catastrophe optics of spheroidal drops and generalized rainbows

  • Marston P
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Deformation of a liquid drop into a spheroid can produce bright far-field scattering patterns that are not present for a sphere of the same liquid. As reviewed here, these patterns may be analyzed using the methods of catastrophe optics. The enhancements are typically associated with a merging of more than two rays and are therefore a generalization of the rainbow. The patterns may be useful for computational benchmarks and a novel calculation shows that the enhancement of the irradiance may be significant in comparison with ordinary rainbow scattering for ka as small as 50. A related enhancement in the scattering by tilted cylinders is also reviewed.

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  • Philip L. Marston

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