other bacterial suspensions were later performed by His proposed procedure requires a time-dependent van de Merwe et al.3 and Bronk et al.4,5 The use of polarized light scattering for biological-cell differen-tiation was again first demonstrated by Bickel et al.6 deGrooth et al.7 showed that depolarization of lin-early polarized light can be used in flow cytometers to distinguish among a number of leukocyte types.8 Furthermore, polarized light has been employed to study polynucleosome superstructures9 and other biomolecular structures.10 All the above-mentioned applications of polarized light require measurement of polarized irradiance over a broad range of forward-scattering angles. However, there are many biomedical applications in which the properties of backward-scattered light are measurement of the backscattered polarized irradi-ance and could potentially also be applied to biologi-cal samples. Time-resolved measurements of the depolarization of multiple backscattered light from turbid media were performed by Yoo and Alfano.13 In their experiments, 5-fs laser pulses, which were linearly polarized and collimated to a diameter of 5 mm, were directed onto latex-bead suspensions. The backscattered light within the beam area was collected and recorded as a function of time. Yoo and Alfano observed that the depolarization varies with particle size and concentration, and they esti-mated that approximately 20 scattering events are necessary to depolarize the light completely. Ander-son14 used linearly polarized light to illuminate the skin of his patients broadly. Viewing the skin through another linear polarizer, he could distin-guish the reflectance from the skin surface, which preserves the plane of polarization, and the light backscattered from within the tissue, which is more likely to change the plane of polarization or become depolarized. In this paper we investigate the behavior of diffuse
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