Mie theory, airy theory, and the natural rainbow.

  title={Mie theory, airy theory, and the natural rainbow.},
  author={R L Lee},
  journal={Applied optics},
  volume={37 9},
  • R. L. Lee
  • Published 20 March 1998
  • Physics
  • Applied optics
Compared with Mie scattering theory, Airy rainbow theory clearly miscalculates some monochromatic details of scattering by small water drops. Yet when monodisperse Airy theory is measured by perceptual (rather than purely physical) standards such as chromaticity and luminance contrast, it differs very little from Mie theory. Considering only the angular positions of luminance extrema, Airy theory's errors are largest for small droplets such as those that dominate cloudbows and fogbows. However… 

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The domain of validity of the Airy theory for this technique is established through comparison with Lorenz-Mie theory, and the temperature derivation from the inflection points of theAiry rainbow pattern appears to be independent of the type of spray dispersion.

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