Abstract

We derive theoretically and validate numerically general relationships for the elements of the backscattering matrix and for the linear, δL, and circular, δC, backscattering depolarization ratios for nonspherical particles in random orientation. For the practically important case of randomly oriented particles with a plane of symmetry or particles and their mirror particles occurring in equal numbers and in random orientation, δC = 2δL/(1 − δL). Extensive T-matrix computations for randomly oriented spheroids demonstrate that, although both δL and δC are indicators of particle nonsphericity, they cannot be considered a universal measure of the departure of particle shape from that of a sphere and have no simple dependence on particle size and refractive index.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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