OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijin de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 9 — Apr. 30, 2007
  • pp: 5572–5588

Rayleigh-Gans scattering approximation: surprisingly useful for understanding backscattering from disk-like particles

Howard R. Gordon  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 9, pp. 5572-5588 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (467 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Recent computations of the backscattering cross section of randomly-oriented disk-like particles (refractive index, 1.20) with small-scale internal structure, using the discrete-dipole approximation (DDA), have been repeated using the Rayleigh-Gans approximation (RGA). As long as the thickness of the disks is approximately 20% of the wavelength (or less), the RGA agrees reasonably well quantitatively with the DDA. The comparisons show that the RGA is sufficiently accurate to be useful as a quantitative tool for exploring the backscattering features of disk-like particles with complex structure. It is used here to develop a zeroth-order correction for the neglect of birefringence on modeling the backscattering of detached coccoliths from E. huxleyi.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and ocean optics

Original Manuscript: March 20, 2007
Revised Manuscript: April 19, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: April 19, 2007
Published: April 23, 2007

Howard R. Gordon, "Rayleigh-Gans scattering approximation: surprisingly useful for understanding backscattering from disk-like particles," Opt. Express 15, 5572-5588 (2007)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. H. R. Gordon and A. Y. Morel, Remote Assessment of Ocean Color for Interpretation of Satellite Visible Imagery: A Review (Springer-Verlag, 1983). [CrossRef]
  2. D. A. Siegel, A. C. Thomas, and J. Marra, "Views of ocean processes from the Sea-viewing wide field-of-view sensor mission: introduction to the first special issue," Deep Sea Res. II,  511-3 (2004). [CrossRef]
  3. D. Stramski, E. Boss, D. Bogucki, and K. J. Voss, "The role of seawater constituents in light backscattering in the ocean," Prog. Oceanogr. 61, 27-56 (2004). [CrossRef]
  4. M. I. Mishchenko, L. D. Travis, and A. A. Lacis (Cambridge, 2002).
  5. H. R. Gordon and T. Du, "Light scattering by nonspherical particles: application to coccoliths detached from Emiliania huxleyi," Limnol. Oceanogr. 46, 1438-1454 (2001). [CrossRef]
  6. W. M. Balch, P. M. Holligan, S. G. Ackleson, and K. J. Voss, "Biological and optical properties of mesoscale coccolithophore blooms in the Gulf of Maine," Limnol. Oceanogr. 34, 629-643 (1991). [CrossRef]
  7. W. M. Balch, K. Kilpatrick, P. M. Holligan, D. Harbour and E. Fernandez, "The 1991 coccolithophore bloom in the central north Atlantic II: Relating optics to coccolith concentration," Limnol. Oceanogr. 41, 1684-1696 (1996). [CrossRef]
  8. T. J. Smyth, G. F. Moore, S. B. Groom, P. E. Land and T. Tyrrell, Optical modeling and measurements of a coccolithophore bloom, Appl. Opt. 41, 7679-7688 (2002). [CrossRef]
  9. H. R. Gordon, G. C. Boynton, W. M. Balch, S. B. Groom, D. S. Harbour, and T. J. Smyth, "Retrieval of Coccolithophore Calcite Concentration from SeaWiFS Imagery," Geophys. Res. Lett. 28, 1587-1590, (2001). [CrossRef]
  10. W. M. Balch, H. R. Gordon, B. C. Bowler, D. T. Drapeau and E. S. Booth, "Calcium carbonate measurements in the surface global ocean based on Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectralradiometer data," J. Geophys. Res. 110C, C07001 (2005), doi:l0.1029j2004JC002560. [CrossRef]
  11. H. R. Gordon, "Backscattering of light from disk-like particles: is fine-scale structure or gross morphology more important?" Appl. Opt. 45, 7166-7173 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. B. T. Draine, "The discrete-dipole approximation and its application to interstellar graphite grains," Astrophys. J. 333,848-872 (1988). [CrossRef]
  13. B. T. Draine and P. Flatau, "Discrete-dipole approximation for scattering calculations," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A ll,1491-1499 (1994). [CrossRef]
  14. C. F. Bohren and D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley, 1983).
  15. H. C. van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles (Wiley, 1957).
  16. L. D. Cohen, R. D. Haracz, A. Cohen, and C. Acquista, "Scattering of light from arbitrarily oriented cylinders," Appl. Opt. 22, 742-748 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. K. Shimizu, "Modification of the Rayleigh-Debye approximation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 504-507 (1983). [CrossRef]
  18. B. T. Draine and J. Goodman, Beyond Clausius-Mossotti: Wave propagation on a polarizable point lattice and the discrete dipole approximation, Astrophys. J. 405, 685-697 (1993). [CrossRef]
  19. J. R. Young, J. M. Didymus, P. R. Brown, B. Prins, and S. Mann, "Crystal assembly and phylogenetic evolution in heterococcoliths," Nature 356, 516-518 (1992). [CrossRef]
  20. E. Aas, Refractive index of phytoplankton derived from its metabolite composition, J. Plankton Res. 18, 2223-2249 (1996). [CrossRef]
  21. J. M. Bennett and H. E. Bennett, "Polarization," in Handbook of Optics, W.G. Driscoll and W. Vaughan, eds., (McGraw-Hill, 1978).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited