Although scattering of light by a coated sphere is much more complicated than scattering by a homogeneous sphere, each of the partial wave amplitudes for scattering of a plane wave by a coated sphere can be expanded in a Debye series. The Debye series can then be rearranged in terms of the various reflections that each partial wave undergoes inside the coated sphere. For a given number of internal reflections, it is found that many different Debye terms produce the same scattered intensity as a function of scattering angle. This is called path degeneracy. In addition, some of the ray trajectories are repeats of those occurring for a smaller number of internal reflections in the sense that they produce identical time delays as a function of scattering angle. These repeated paths, however, have a different intensity as a function of scattering angle than their predecessors. The degenerate paths and repeated paths considerably simplify the interpretation of scattering within the coated sphere, thus making it possible to catalog the contributions of the various paths.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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