Abstract

In the mid-morning on a sunny day one can sometimes see glare spots associated with uncolored “rainbow” (i.e., fold) caustics due to the sunlight reflected from the surface of dew or guttation drops. We show that these dewdrop reflection rainbows are due to places on the droplet (i.e., from an “inflection circle”) where its Gaussian curvature becomes zero. We work out the theory of such caustics with horizontally incident light and present a comparison of the theory to measurements made in the laboratory.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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