Abstract

We present a catastrophe-based graphic model for understanding the optical bistability (OB) of an aqueous aerosol particle detected in light scattering. The model is shown to be in good agreement with hidden resonance experiments and indicates that OB in such particles can occur at an incident power level of <50 × 10−9 W. This threshold is controlled principally by the quality factor of morphological resonances and thermophysical properties of the particle. A catastrophe scheme for the bistability of solid particles is anticipated.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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