Abstract

This paper presents a theory describing totally incoherent multiple scattering of turbid spherical samples. It is proved that if reciprocity and mirror symmetry hold for single scattering by a particle, they also hold for multiple scattering in spherical samples. Monte Carlo simulations generate a reduced effective scattering Mueller matrix, which virtually satisfies reciprocity and mirror symmetry. The scattering matrix was factorized by using the symmetric decomposition in a predefined form, as well as the Lu–Chipman polar decomposition, approximately into a product of a pure depolarizer and vertically oriented linear retarding diattenuators. The parameters of these components were calculated as a function of the polar angle. While the turbid spherical sample is a pure depolarizer at low polar angles, it obtains more functions of the retarding diattenuator with increasing polar angle.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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