Abstract

An analytical theory for coherent backscattering (CBS) of low-coherence light is presented. An expression linking the CBS profile to the radial distribution of the incoherent backscattered light is derived when the incident light is partially spatially coherent. The backscattered snake light, which has experienced exactly two large-angle scatterings, is taken into account together with the diffuse light in the analysis. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that the model describes well the CBS profile as long as the spatial coherence length, Lc, of the incident beam is larger than the scattering mean free path of light in the medium. The intensity of the enhanced backscattered light in the exact backscattering direction and the width of the CBS cone are found to be proportional to Lc and Lc1, respectively, in the limit of small Lc.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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