Date of Award

Spring 2021

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Ashley Cannaday

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Moore

Committee Member

Dr. Pamela Brannock


Azimuthal asymmetry is present in the Mie scattering pattern of light scattered by a homogeneous sphere within a uniform medium. This asymmetry is predicted by Mie theory, which describes such scattering mathematically using solutions to Maxwell's equations. This thesis shows that the asymmetry in Mie scattering patterns is related to the polarization of the light incident on the scatterer. This relationship is reflected in the mathematics of Mie theory. Furthermore, this thesis demonstrates empirically that the polarization of the incident light is related to the asymmetry in Mie scattering patterns. Mie scattering by single polystyrene beads was recorded using an angular scattering microscope. The scattering by each individual bead was recorded three times, and the polarization of the incident beam was rotated in between each recording. The features in the bead's scattering pattern rotated when the polarization was rotated. Finally, it is possible to estimate the size of a scatterer by fitting the pattern of light scattered by it to the scattering patterns predicted by Mie theory for scatterers across a range of sizes. It was shown in this thesis that fits to theory can be affected by altering the polarization of the incident light.

Rights Holder

Samuel Abdo Hanna II

Included in

Optics Commons