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Depolarization in diffusely scattering media



Thomas A. Germer


We performed Mueller matrix Monte Carlo simulations of the propagation of optical radiation in diffusely scattering media for collimated incidence and report depolarization in the the transmitted rays as a function of thickness, the angle subtended by the detector, and the area of the material sampled. This paper expands upon previous work [Germer, J. Opt. Soc. Am A 37, 980 (2020)], whereby it was shown that the complex paths rays follow serve to depolarize the light and that the measurement geometry is important for obtaining consistent results. In addition, we perform extinction theorem calculations for spheroidal particles and show that for a reasonable distribution of particle eccentricity, the depolarization due to the fluctuations of the diattenuation and birefringence of a solution of such spheroids is insignificant compared to the calculated depolarization induced by scattering.
Conference Dates
March 6-11, 2021
Conference Location
San Francisco, CA, US
Conference Title
Polarized Light and Optical Angular Momentum for Biomedical Diagnostics


depolarization, modeling, optical theorem, scattering, simulations


Germer, T. (2021), Depolarization in diffusely scattering media, Polarized Light and Optical Angular Momentum for Biomedical Diagnostics, San Francisco, CA, US, [online],, (Accessed April 13, 2024)
Created April 22, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022