We obtain and analyze simple analytical formulas for asymmetry parameters and absorption cross sections of large, nonspherical particles. The formulas are based on the asymptotic properties of these characteristics at strong and weak absorption of radiation inside particles. The absorption cross section depends on parameter ϕ, which determines the value of the light-absorption cross section for weakly absorbing particles. It is larger for nonspherical scatterers. The asymmetry parameter depends on two parameters. The first is the asymmetry parameter g0 of a nonspherical, transparent particle with the same shape as an absorbing one. The second parameter, β, determines the strength of the influence of light absorption on the value of the asymmetry parameter. Parameter β is larger for nonspherical particles. One can find these three parameters (ϕ, g0, and β) using a ray-tracing code (RTC) for nonabsorbing and weakly absorbing particles. The RTC can then be used to check the accuracy of the equations at any absorption for hexagonal cylinders and spheroids. It is found that the error of computing the absorption cross section and 1 − g (g is the asymmetry parameter) is less than 20% at the refractive index of particles n = 1.333. Values for asymmetry parameters of large, nonabsorbing, spheroidal particles with different aspect ratios are tabulated for the first time to our knowledge. They do not depend on the size of particles and can serve as an independent check of the accuracy of T-matrix codes for large parameters.
© 1997 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article