Abstract

Using imaging polarimetry, we measured the polarization patterns of a rainbow on the shore of the Finnish town of Oulu in July 2001. We present here high-resolution color-coded maps of the spatial distributions of the degree and angle of linear polarization of the rainbow in the red (650 ± 30 nm), green (550 ± 30 nm), and blue (450 ± 30 nm) ranges of the spectrum. The measured polarization characteristics of the investigated rainbow support earlier theoretical and computational results and are in accordance with previous qualitative observations. To our knowledge, this is the first imaging polarimetric study of rainbow polarization.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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