Emergent Intensity from a Plane-Parallel Medium Exposed to a Gaussian Laser Beam: A Comparison of Rayleigh and Isotropic Scattering


The focus of this two-dimensional study is the radially varying intensity emergent from a plane-parallel scattering medium exposed to a collimated, Gaussian laser beam directed perpendicular to the upper surface. The method of analysis is the integral transform technique. Specifically, this work uses the generalized reflection and transmission functions from a previous study to construct the emergent intensity with the use of an inverse Hankel transform. Radially varying backscattered and transmitted intensities are calculated for media with isotropic and Rayleigh scattering phase functions and optical thicknesses that range from 0.125 to 8.0. The behavior of the emergent radiation inside and outside the beam is investigated for both narrow and wide beams. A new integration method is implemented to compute the emergent intensity at the beam center. The emergent intensity at the beam center is used to quantify when a one-dimensional model may be used. As expected, for small optical thicknesses and near the beam the phase function has significant influence, while far from the beam multiple scattering reduces the influence of the Rayleigh phase function. Results from this study will be useful in understanding and interpreting more complicated situations, such as those that include polarization.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Isotropic Scattering

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Laser beams
Radiative transfer
Rayleigh scattering

Document Type

Article - Journal

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