, Volume 101, Issue 5, pp 802-810

The effect of the optical anisotropy of scattering media on the polarization state of scattered light

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Abstract

The effect of the optical anisotropy of scattering media on the polarization state of scattered light is studied. The study is performed using a simple polarization method based on the comparison of the spectral composition of the co-and cross-polarized components of transmitted light measured for samples differently oriented with respect to the plane of polarization of probe linearly polarized light. The experimental results obtained are interpreted theoretically in terms of ordinary methods used in optics of birefringent media. Using rat skin as an example, it is shown that surface tissues can be characterized by a high degree of orientational order of the local optical axis of a medium within large areas (with a size of 5 mm or more), which manifests itself in macroscopic optical measurements. In such measurements in the spectral range 550–700 nm, whole rat skin behaves as a partially depolarized phase plate with a difference between the principal refractive indices Δn ≈ 0.00023.

Original Russian Text © Yu.P. Sinichkin, D.A. Zimnyakov, D.A. Yakovlev, I.A. Ovchinnikova, A.V. Spivak, O.V. Ushakova, 2006, published in Optika i Spektroskopiya, 2006, Vol. 101, No. 5, pp. 851–860.