Abstract

The radiative properties of bubbles or particles embedded in an absorbing medium are investigated. We aim first to determine the conditions under which absorption by the surrounding medium must be accounted for in the calculation of the efficiency factors by comparing results from Mie theory and the far-field and near-field approximations. Then, we relate these approximations for a single particle to the effective radiation characteristics required for solving the radiative transfer in an ensemble of scatterers embedded in an absorbing medium. The results indicate that the efficiency factors for a spherical particle can differ significantly from one model to another, in particular for large particle size parameter and matrix absorption index. Moreover, the effective scattering coefficient should be expressed based on the far-field approximation. Also, the choice of the absorption efficiency factor depends on the model used for estimating the effective absorption coefficient. However, for small void fractions, absorption by the matrix dominates, and models for the absorption coefficient and efficiency factor are unimportant. Finally, for bubbles in water, the conventional Mie theory can be used between 0.2 and 200μm except at some wavelengths at which absorption by water must be accounted for.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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