Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Polarized Optical Scattering Signatures from Biological Materials

Published

Author(s)

W. E. Martin, E. Hesse, J. H. Hough, William Sparks, C. S. Cockell, Z. Ulanowski, Thomas A. Germer, B. Kaye

Abstract

The polarization of laser light backscattered from biological samples has been measured over the wavelength range 350 to 850nm. Incident circular, linearly polarized, and unpolarized light produces significant spectrally prominent scattered polarizations in the case of samples containing chlorophyll such as leaves and cyanobacteria. Polarization scattering signatures are observed around the chlorophyll ‘red edge’ that may have diagnostic value in the search for life signatures from extrasolar planets.
Citation
Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Volume
111

Keywords

astrobiology, detection of life, polarization

Citation

Martin, W. , Hesse, E. , Hough, J. , Sparks, W. , Cockell, C. , Ulanowski, Z. , Germer, T. and Kaye, B. (2010), Polarized Optical Scattering Signatures from Biological Materials, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=906031 (Accessed July 27, 2021)
Created January 11, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017