Indexed on: 01 May '02Published on: 01 May '02Published in: Optics and Spectroscopy
The effect of absorption in a scattering medium on the degree of residual polarization of backscattered radiation is studied in the case of probing of multiply scattering media by a linearly polarized light. An approximate expression describing the dependence of the degree of residual linear polarization of the backscattered radiation on the optical characteristics of a multiply scattering medium is derived within the framework of the phenomenological approach, based on the concept of the distribution of the optical paths of partial components of the scattered optical field under the conditions of multiple scattering, and with the use of the ideas about the similarity of statistical moments of the multiply scattered optical fields. The cut-off of the partial components, characterized by a large value of the optical path, because of their absorption, results in a substantial increase of the degree of residual polarization for the bands of the selective absorption caused by the presence of chromophores in the scattering medium. The results of experiments with model scattering media (whole milk) and biological tissues (human skin in vivo) are presented.