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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 43, Iss. 18 — Jun. 20, 2004
  • pp: 3738–3746

Implementing the near- to far-field transformation in the finite-difference time-domain method

Peng-Wang Zhai, Yong-Keun Lee, George W. Kattawar, and Ping Yang  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 43, Issue 18, pp. 3738-3746 (2004)

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When the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method is applied to light-scattering computations, the far fields can be obtained by means of integrating the near fields either over the volume bounded by the particle’s surface or on a regular surface encompassing the scatterer. For light scattering by a sphere, the accurate near-field components on the FDTD-staggered meshes can be computed from the rigorous Lorenz-Mie theory. We investigate the errors associated with these near- to far-field transform methods for a canonical scattering problem associated with spheres. For a scatterer with a small refractive index, the surface-integral approach is more accurate than its volume counterpart for computation of the phase functions and extinction efficiencies; however, the volume-integral approach is more accurate for computation of other scattering matrix elements, such as P12, P33, and P43, especially for backscattering. If a large refractive index is involved, the results computed from the volume-integration method become less accurate, whereas the surface method still retains the same order of accuracy as in the situation for the small refractive index.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(010.3920) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Meteorology
(280.1310) Remote sensing and sensors : Atmospheric scattering
(290.1090) Scattering : Aerosol and cloud effects
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

Original Manuscript: October 28, 2003
Revised Manuscript: March 25, 2004
Published: June 20, 2004

Peng-Wang Zhai, Yong-Keun Lee, George W. Kattawar, and Ping Yang, "Implementing the near- to far-field transformation in the finite-difference time-domain method," Appl. Opt. 43, 3738-3746 (2004)

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