Real physical objects are optically inhomogeneous. This makes the studying of the light-scattering phenomenon an important problem in a wide range of problems solved in optics.
The following three main groups of techniques are used to investigate the phase-inhomogeneous layers (PILs) structure:
1. Spectrophotometric techniques based on the analysis of spatial (temporal) changes of the intensity of optical radiation scattered by PILs.
2. Polarimetric techniques, which use the coherency matrix of light oscillations and are based on the analysis of the polarization degree as the manifestation of correlation of the orthogonal components of light oscillations in one point of the scattered radiation field.
3. Correlation techniques, which are based on the analysis of the correlation degree among the collinear components of light oscillations in different points of the object field.
Using such techniques, one obtains data on the PILs in the form of spectral intensities distributions, polarizations (azimuths and ellipticities of light oscillations), and the phases of the object fields. Usually, the ensemble of such characteristics of the PILs' object field is analyzed within the statistical approach, which is based on the description of the object structure by the ensemble of statistical moments of the probability distributions of its optical and geometric parameters.
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