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Volume Scattering Function ()

The Volume Scattering Function, or VSF, notated mathematically as ("beta"), is one of the two fundamental IOPs, and characterizes the intensity of scattering as a function of angle.


The VSF is defined in terms of a beam of light incident on an infinitesimal volume.  At each angle from 0 (the original angle of the incident light) to 180, the VSF is the ratio of the intensity of scattered light (in W/sr) to the incident irradiance (in W/m2), per unit volume (in m3).  Therefore the VSF's units are (W/sr) / (W/m2 ? m3) = sr-1 m-1.


The total scattering coefficient b is calculated by integrating over all angles.  The backscattering coefficient bb is similarly derived by integrating over the angles from 90 to 180.


Discussions of scattering often refer to the Scattering Phase Function, which is equal to /b.  Because b is the integral of with respect to angle, the integral of the phase function with respect to angle is 1.

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