A method for solving the inverse-scattering problem empirically is introduced. The method is called the strip-map technique, and, for now, we restrict its use to the identification of single homogeneous spherical particles First the technique is illustrated in a gedanken experiment with an ideal spherical microparticle Then the technique is applied to the study of four particles from which light-scattering data have been collected. Nonspherical or inhomogeneous spherical particles are immediately distinguished from particles that are homogeneous spheres, the latter being specified to a high degree of precision. The technique can be made extremely rapid: with modest computer means, individual microparticles can be characterized in less than 1 msec.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
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