Optics of a water drop investigates the scattering of light from spherical drops of water, leading to phenomena such as rainbows, coronas and glories.

Much of this web site is based on calculations and simulations produced by the freely available MiePlot computer program which uses Mie theory and the Debye series.  This software was originally designed for Mie scattering calculations from water drops, but it has been extended so that users can now specify the refractive index of the scattering sphere and of the medium (e.g. water drops in air, air bubbles in water. etc.).

The above image compares a MiePlot simulation (in the rectangular box) with a digital image of glory seen from a commercial aircraft. © Philip Laven

Philip Laven, Geneva, Switzerland