Abstract

Mie theory and geometrical-optics ray tracing are used to obtain the distribution of electric energy density inside a nonabsorbing micrometer-sized sphere illuminated by a polarized plane wave. The Mie solution shows the multiply reflected geometrical-optics rays inside a sphere having a diameter of ~ 150 free-space wavelengths (size parameter = circumference/wavelength = 500). The geometrical-optics result shows the major features of the Mie solution and provides a physical interpretation of the electromagnetic interactions that result in the observed energy-density distributions. Both solutions show internal on-axis energy-density maxima inside the shadow surface of the sphere. The region of greatest enhanced energy density is approximately one internal wavelength in diameter and approximately twenty internal wavelengths in length.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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