Abstract

Previous observations of oblate drops of water illuminated perpendicular to their axis of symmetry exhibit catastrophe patterns near the primary-rainbow scattering angle [see, e.g., Appl. Opt. 30, 3468 (1991). The present research concerns observation of diffraction catastrophes near the secondary-rainbow scattering angle under similar experimental conditions. Illumination with laser light exhibits similar caustic structures in the secondary rainbow including the hyperbolic umbilic focal section and the E6 or symbolic umbilic focal section. The range of drop aspect ratios explored includes aspect ratios as small as those found for freely falling drops in air as well as highly flattened drops. The new features of the secondary rainbow occur for highly flattened drops.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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