Abstract

In this paper, an exact solution of the complex and difficult problem of the illumination of the atmosphere and ground by sunlight is discussed in the light of numerical results. Full account is taken of the polarization of radiation by scattering, and allowance is made for the optical anisotropy of the molecules of air. The atmosphere is supposed to be uniformly mixed and stratified in parallel planes.

Predictions based on that solution are put to the test of observation. The neutral points are found to occur in the manner they are observed. The incomplete polarization of the light scattered at right angles to the incident solar beam is fully accounted for, assuming a depolarization factor equal to 0.0415 for the molecules of air. Solutions taking no consideration of that factor fail to account for the observed depolarization. The observations of Tichanowsky on the degree of polarization of zenith scattered light are also accounted for when the optical anisotropy of the molecules of air is taken into consideration.

© 1953 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Wavelength Dependence of the Polarization of the Sunlit Sky*

Thomas Gehrels
J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52(10) 1164-1173 (1962)

Monte Carlo Studies of the Sky Radiation at Twilight

Wolfram G. Blättner, Henry G. Horak, Dave G. Collins, and Michael B. Wells
Appl. Opt. 13(3) 534-547 (1974)

Importance of Higher Order Scattering in a Molecular Atmosphere

J. V. Dave
J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54(3) 307-315 (1964)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (2)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Tables (2)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article tables are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (10)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription