Abstract

We investigate the effectiveness of various bulk optical parameters in characterizing the degree of circular polarization (DOCP) of light diffusely reflected from scattering media. It is demonstrated that the traditional set of bulk optical parameters (namely, the scattering and absorption coefficients and the scattering asymmetry parameter) fail to characterize the observed depolarization. However, we find that there exists an additional parameter connected to the circular polarization memory phenomenon that consistently relates to observations, even in media with widely varying refractive indices and particle size distributions. This relationship is demonstrated using both Monte Carlo simulations and a new method for designing microsphere-based phantom media, which contain carefully controlled particle size distributions and depolarization characteristics.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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