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Optics of water microdroplets with soot inclusions: Exact versus approximate...

Liu, L., and M. Mishchenko (2016), Optics of water microdroplets with soot inclusions: Exact versus approximate results, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 178, 255-262, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2015.12.025.

We use the recently generalized version of the multi-sphere superposition T-matrix method (STMM) to compute the scattering and absorption properties of microscopic water droplets contaminated by black carbon. The soot material is assumed to be randomly distributed throughout the droplet interior in the form of numerous small spherical inclusions. Our numerically-exact STMM results are compared with approximate ones obtained using the Maxwell-Garnett effective-medium approximation (MGA) and the Monte Carlo ray-tracing approximation (MCRTA). We show that the popular MGA can be used to calculate the droplet optical cross sections, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry parameter provided that the soot inclusions are quasi-uniformly distributed throughout the droplet interior, but can fail in computations of the elements of the scattering matrix depending on the volume fraction of soot inclusions. The integral radiative characteristics computed with the MCRTA can deviate more significantly from their exact STMM counterparts, while accurate MCRTA computations of the phase function require droplet size parameters substantially exceeding 60.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)