Abstract

Details of light depolarization in turbid media were investigated using polarization-sensitive Monte Carlo simulations. The surviving linear and circular polarization fractions of photons undergoing a particular number of scattering events were studied for different optical properties of the turbid media. It was found that the threshold number of photon scattering interactions that fully randomize the incident polarization (defined here as <1% surviving polarization fraction) is not a constant, but varies with the photon detection angle. Larger detection angles, close to backscattering direction, show lower full depolarization threshold number for a given set of sample’s optical properties. The Monte Carlo simulations also confirm that depolarization is not only controlled by the number of scattering events and detection geometry, but is also strongly influenced by other factors such as anisotropy g, medium linear birefringence, and the polarization state of the incident light.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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