Abstract

The modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index is defined as one that yields accurate values of a representative set of far-field scattering characteristics (including the scattering matrix) for an object made of randomly heterogeneous materials. We validate the concept of the modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index by comparing numerically exact superposition T-matrix results for a spherical host randomly filled with a large number of identical small inclusions and Lorenz–Mie results for a homogeneous spherical counterpart. A remarkable quantitative agreement between the superposition T-matrix and Lorenz–Mie scattering matrices over the entire range of scattering angles demonstrates unequivocally that the modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index is a sound (albeit still phenomenological) concept provided that the size parameter of the inclusions is sufficiently small and their number is sufficiently large. Furthermore, it appears that in cases when the concept of the modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index works, its actual value is close to that predicted by the Maxwell-Garnett mixing rule.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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