Abstract

When the number of scattering centers is small and/or varying, non-Gaussian fluctuations of coherently scattered radiation can yield vestigial information about the character of the individuals. The probability density functions of fluctuations in polarized light scattered from ensembles of small spheroidal particles are calculated. The particle dynamics are governed by Brownian motion, so their orientation is random relative to the incident polarized radiation, and the number of illuminated scattering centers can fluctuate according to Poisson statistics. It is demonstrated that the probability density functions of the scattered radiation may be used to discriminate the particle shape unambiguously, provided that the mean number of them is sufficiently small.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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