Abstract

By means of geometrical optics we present an approximation method for acceleration of the computation of the scattering intensity distribution within a forward angular range (0–60°) for gradient-index spheres illuminated by a plane wave. The incident angle of reflected light is determined by the scattering angle, thus improving the approximation accuracy. The scattering angle and the optical path length are numerically integrated by a general-purpose integrator. With some special index models, the scattering angle and the optical path length can be expressed by a unique function and the calculation is faster. This method is proved effective for transparent particles with size parameters greater than 50. It fails to give good approximation results at scattering angles whose refractive rays are in the backward direction. For different index models, the geometrical-optics approximation is effective only for forward angles, typically those less than 60° or when the refractive-index difference of a particle is less than a certain value.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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