# Rayleigh Scattering help

Howdy,

I'm a computer programmer by trade, but I've got a project I'm working on for fun and could use some help with some of the physics details.

I'm trying to get an algorithm that models the intensity 'I' of a monochromatic light at some distance 'd' from the source where there is a fluid between the detector and source that scatters the light. As I understand light scattering, the resonant frequency of the molecules (or is it size?) that make up the fluid will determine the proportion of light scattered and thereby the intensity at the detector. So I need help deriving a formula that takes into account the fluid (composition, density, and volume), and the wavelength and intensity of the source light, and models the intensity of the non-scattered light at the detector.

I could just start building test rigs and doing experiments, but I'd really like some numbers to guide the experimentation. I'm trying to figure out what combination of light colors (probably going to be either red, green, blue, or white LED's), fluid (water? Oil? __?) and volume is going to give me the best combination of compact size and delta I over the variable distance the light will be from the sensor.

Ultimately, I'm trying to get a graph of the light intensity over distance given a constant source light wavelength/intensity and fluid such that if I know the intensity, I can calculate the distance.

I hope that all made sense... I would really appreciate any help you all could give. Thanks!

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Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
If you don't get any hits here, try the Quantum Physics forum.