The forward scattering of a Gaussian laser beam by a spherical particle located along the beam axis is analyzed with the generalized Lorenz–Mie theory (GLMT) and with diffraction theory. Forward-scattering and near-forward-scattering profiles from electrodynamically levitated droplets, 51.6 μm in diameter, are also presented and compared with GLMT-based predictions. The total intensity in the forward direction, formed by the superposition of the incident and the scattered fields, is found to correlate with the particle-extinction cross section, the particle diameter, and the beam width. Based on comparison with the GLMT, the diffraction solution is accurate when beam widths that are approximately greater than or equal to the particle diameter are considered and when large particles that have an extinction efficiency near the asymptotic value of 2 are considered. However, diffraction fails to describe the forward intensity for more tightly focused beams. The experimental observations, which are in good agreement with GLMT-based predictions, reveal that the total intensity profile about the forward direction is quite sensitive to particle axial position within a Gaussian beam. These finite beam effects are significant when the ratio of the beam to the particle diameter is less than approximately 5:1. For larger beam-to-particle-diameter ratios, the total field in the forward direction is dominated by the incident beam.
© 1995 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
ErrataRonald J. Pogorzelski, "Provision of exact formulations for the “forward scattering of a Gaussian beam by a nonabsorbing sphere”: comment," Appl. Opt. 34, 8474-8474 (1995)