A survey is given of the applications of complex angular momentum theory to Mie scattering, with special emphasis on the recent treatments of the rainbow and the glory. The theory yields uniform asymptotic expansions of the scattering amplitudes for rainbows of arbitrary order, for size parameters ≳ 50, in close agreement with the exact results. The Airy theory fails for parallel polarization in the primary bow and for both polarizations in higher-order rainbows. The theory provides for the first time a complete physical explanation of the glory. It leads to the identification of the dominant contributions to the glory and to asymptotic expressions for them. They include a surface-wave contribution, whose relevance was first conjectured by van de Hulst, and the effect of complex rays in the shadow of the tenth-order rainbow. Good agreement with the exact results is obtained. Physical effects that play an important role include axial focusing, cross polarization, orbiting, the interplay of various damping effects, and geometrical resonances associated with closed or almost closed orbits. All significant features of the glory pattern found in recent numerical studies are reproduced.
© 1979 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article