Physical and Quantum Optics

Optics and Spectroscopy

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 103-108

First online:

Ultimate degree of residual polarization of incoherently backscattered light for multiple scattering of linearly polarized light

  • D. A. ZimnyakovAffiliated withSaratov State University
  • , Yu. P. SinichkinAffiliated withSaratov State University

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By invoking ideas about the distribution of the optical paths of partial components of the scattered field, we obtain an expression for estimating the degree of residual polarization of light that is incoherently backscattered from a disordered multiply scattering semi-infinite medium illuminated by linearly polarized light. In the backscattering regime, the depolarization length of the linearly polarized light in the disordered medium becomes smaller with the passage from the isotropic to anisotropic scattering. Experiments with model media featuring substantially anisotropic scattering (the anisotropy parameter of 0.90 ≤ g ≤ 0.95) demonstrated that for backscattering of linearly polarized light, the depolarization length is close to the transport length of the scattering medium.