Polarization singularities in the clear sky


Berry, M.V., Dennis, M.R. and Lee, Jr, R.L. (2004) Polarization singularities in the clear sky. New Journal of Physics, 6, (162), 1-14. (doi:10.1088/1367-2630/6/1/162).

Download

[img]
Preview
PDF - Publishers print
Download (3099Kb)

Description/Abstract

Ideas from singularity theory provide a simple account of the pattern of polarization directions in daylight. The singularities (two near the Sun and two near the anti-Sun) are points in the sky where the polarization line pattern has index +1/2 and the intensity of polarization is zero. The singularities are caused by multiple scattering that splits into two each of the unstable index +1 singularities at the Sun and anti-Sun, which occur in the single-dipole scattering (Rayleigh) theory. The polarization lines are contours of an elliptic integral. For the intensity of polarization (unnormalized degree), it is necessary to incorporate the strong depolarizing effect of multiple scattering near the horizon. Singularity theory is compared with new digital images of sky polarization, and gives an excellent description of the pattern of polarization directions. For the intensity of polarization, the theory can reproduce not only the zeros but also subtle variations in the polarization maxima.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1367-2630 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
ePrint ID: 29391
Date Deposited: 10 May 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:17
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/29391

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics