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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Nov 18;95(21):213901. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Random walk of polarized light in turbid media.

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Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers, New York State Center of Advanced Technology for Ultrafast Photonics, The City College and Graduate Center of City University of New York, New York, New York 10031, USA.


We study the propagation of polarized light in turbid media as a random walk of vector photons. Both propagation and polarization directions of light are found to isotropize, following a power law of the number of scattering events. The characteristic length scale governing light isotropization and linear depolarization, the isotropization length , is derived using the exact Mie scattering for spherical particles. A simple relation is obtained for Rayleigh-Gans scatterers where is the transport mean free path and is the mean cosine of scattering angles.

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