Lycurgus Cup: inverse problem using photographs for characterization of matter
Journal of the Optical Society of America A
Photographs of the Lycurgus Cup with a source light inside and outside exhibit purple and green colors, respectively (dichroism). A model relying on the scattering of light to colors in the photographs is proposed and used within an inverse problem algorithm, to deduce radius and composition of metallic particles, and the refractive index of the surrounding glass medium. The inverse problem algorithm is based on a hybridization of particle swarm optimization and of the simulated annealing methods. The results are compared to experimental measurements on a small sample of glass. The linear laws that are deduced from sets of possible parameters producing the same color in the photographs help simplify the understanding of phenomena. The proportion of silver to gold in nanoparticles is found to be in agreement, but a large proportion of copper is also found. The retrieved refractive index of the surrounding glass is close to 2.