Abstract

Scattering of illumination light from a laser is a severe problem especially when imaging in thick media. Although this effect occurs in nearly every imaging process, it can be well perceived and analyzed in configurations where the optical axes for illumination and detection are perpendicular to each other. In this paper I present a theoretical perspective of how to extend the point-spread function arithmetic from ideal imaging to realistic imaging including ghost images. These ghost images are generated by scattered light and are low-correlated with the ideal image. Numerical simulations of the propagation of four different types of illumination beams through a cluster of spheres illustrate the effects of inhomogeneous object illumination. Clear differences between a conventional plane-wave illumination, a static light-sheet, and a laterally scanned Gaussian beam, but also relative to a scanned Bessel beam, can be observed.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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