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Monte Carlo simulation and analysis of halo phenomena

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Abstract

We trace the paths of sun rays through hexagonal ice crystals by a hit-and-miss Monte Carlo algorithm, interpreting the Fresnel equations as reflection and transmission probabilities. In this way, we calculate the intensity of the scattered sunlight for a specified distribution of crystals. In particular, we obtain the relative intensities of all arcs and spots produced by the crystals. The distribution function for the tilting and rotation angles of oriented crystals corresponds to a superposition of damped oscillations. We use the method to analyze the relative intensities of the 22° and 46° halos and to simulate a complex ice-crystal display produced by oriented columnlike, oriented platelike, and unoriented cubelike crystals.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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