Abstract

A model is proposed to compute the salient optical caustic partitions occurring in the primary rainbow for oblate spheroidal drops. By computing the boundary limits of outgoing rays, the optical caustic structures (termed rainbow and hyperbolic umbilic fringes) for tilted drops are calculated and compared with those for aligned (untilted) drops. The curvature of the rainbow fringe and the shifts of cusp caustics are discussed as well. The observed properties of the caustics can potentially be used for drop measurements. The model could also be applied to compute the optical caustics for drops with arbitrary shape, arbitrary orientation, and shaped beam illumination.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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