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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 21, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2004
  • pp: 71–87

Single scattering by a small volume element

Michael I. Mishchenko, Joop W. Hovenier, and Daniel W. Mackowski  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 71-87 (2004)

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Starting from first principles, we present a detailed analysis of the concept of single scattering of light by a small volume element filled with sparsely and randomly positioned particles. We first derive the formulas of the far-field single-scattering approximation, which treats the volume element as a single scatterer, and discuss its range of applicability, using for illustration exact T-matrix results for randomly oriented two-sphere clusters. Our second approach is to treat the volume element as a small cloud of particles and apply the so-called first-order-scattering approximation. We demonstrate that although the two approaches are based on somewhat different sets of assumptions, they give essentially the same result for the electromagnetic response of a sufficiently distant polarization-sensitive detector.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5620) Coherence and statistical optics : Radiative transfer
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

Original Manuscript: April 20, 2003
Revised Manuscript: July 29, 2003
Manuscript Accepted: August 26, 2003
Published: January 1, 2004

Michael I. Mishchenko, Joop W. Hovenier, and Daniel W. Mackowski, "Single scattering by a small volume element," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 71-87 (2004)

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