Abstract

We investigate experimentally the determination of the effective refractive index (RI) of a turbid particle suspension from the angle dependence of light scattered by the particles and then transmitted into a transparent prism of higher RI. We assembled a versatile experimental device that may be recognized as an Abbe-type refractometer in which the sample is illuminated from the prism side and use it to measure the intensity profile of diffuse light refracted into the prism around the critical angle. By fitting a recently proposed theoretical model we extract the complex RI of turbid suspensions of particles from the measured intensity profiles. We show that the real part of the effective RI is readily obtained with good precision regardless of how the sample is illuminated, whereas obtaining the imaginary part is done with less precision but nevertheless useful measurements can be obtained. The effective RI obtained with this method compares very well with the so-called van de Hulst effective RI and the one derived from Keller’s model of the effective propagation constant.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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