Abstract

The ellipticity and the direction of polarization are calculated for radiation that has undergone multiple scattering from plane parallel layers. Both the radiation emerging from the top of the layer and that transmitted through the bottom are considered. Two different phase functions are used for the scattering layer: Rayleigh and haze L. The direction of polarization of the reflected radiation shows little variation as the optical depth of the layer increases, while there is a much larger variation for the transmitted radiation. When the optical thickness is small, the direction of polarization for haze L varies rapidly with zenith angle near those angles at which the single scattered polarization is zero. The ellipticity of the radiation from haze L layers increases at first in direct proportion to the optical thickness of the layer. In general the ellipticity of the transmitted radiation is considerably greater than that of the reflected because of the greater average number of photon collisions in the former case. When the ellipticity is small, it is shown that the product of the polarization and the ellipticity is closely equal to −V/2I, where I and V are the first and fourth components of the Stokes vector.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

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