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Classifying atmospheric ice crystals by spatial light scattering

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Abstract

We describe preliminary results from an optical scattering instrument designed to assess the shapes and sizes of microscopic atmospheric cloud particles, especially the smallest ice crystals, that can profoundly affect cloud processes and radiative properties. The new instrument captures high-resolution spatial light scattering patterns from individual particles down to 1μm in size passing through a focused laser beam. Its significance lies in the ability of these patterns to provide morphological data for particle sizes well below the optical resolution limits of current cloud particle probes.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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