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Use of polarized light to discriminate short-path photons in a multiply scattering medium

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Abstract

We describe a method for discriminating short- and long-path photons transmitted through a multiply scattering medium that is based on the relationship between the polarization states of the incident and forward-scattered light. Results of Monte Carlo simulations and experiments show that if the scattering anisotropy of the scatterers is sufficiently small, absorbing barriers embedded in optically dense suspensions of polystyrene spheres can be resolved with good contrast by selectively detecting a component of the scattered-light intensity that has preserved its incident circular polarization state.

The principles of operation of a polarization-modulation system capable of measuring small polarization fractions are explained. Using this system we were able to measure polarized light in a depolarized background over 1000 times as large.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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