The problem of light scattering by ice crystal particles whose sizes are essentially larger than the incident wavelength is divided into two parts. First, the scattered field is represented as a set of plane-parallel outgoing beams in the near zone of the particle. Then, in the far zone the scattered field is represented as a result of both diffraction and interference of these beams within the framework of physical optics. A proper ray-tracing algorithm for calculation of the amplitude (Jones) scattering matrix is developed and applied. For large particles, a number of reduced Mueller matrices are introduced and discussed, since the pure Mueller matrix obtained from the Jones matrix becomes a rather cumbersome and quickly oscillating value. Backscattering by hexagonal ice crystals, including polarization properties, is considered in detail.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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