Light Scattering by Nonspherical Particles

Light Scattering by Nonspherical Particles

Theory, Measurements, and Applications

1st Edition - September 10, 1999

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  • Editors: Michael Mishchenko, Joachim Hovenier, Larry Travis
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080510200
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124986602

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There is hardly a field of science or engineering that does not have some interest in light scattering by small particles. For example, this subject is important to climatology because the energy budget for the Earth's atmosphere is strongly affected by scattering of solar radiation by cloud and aerosol particles, and the whole discipline of remote sensing relies largely on analyzing the parameters of radiation scattered by aerosols, clouds, and precipitation. The scattering of light by spherical particles can be easily computed using the conventional Mie theory. However, most small solid particles encountered in natural and laboratory conditions have nonspherical shapes. Examples are soot and mineral aerosols, cirrus cloud particles, snow and frost crystals, ocean hydrosols, interplanetary and cometary dust grains, and microorganisms. It is now well known that scattering properties of nonspherical particles can differ dramatically from those of "equivalent" (e.g., equal-volume or equal-surface-area) spheres. Therefore, the ability to accurately compute or measure light scattering by nonspherical particles in order to clearly understand the effects of particle nonsphericity on light scattering is very important. The rapid improvement of computers and experimental techniques over the past 20 years and the development of efficient numerical approaches have resulted in major advances in this field which have not been systematically summarized. Because of the universal importance of electromagnetic scattering by nonspherical particles, papers on different aspects of this subject are scattered over dozens of diverse research and engineering journals. Often experts in one discipline (e.g., biology) are unaware of potentially useful results obtained in another discipline (e.g., antennas and propagation). This leads to an inefficient use of the accumulated knowledge and unnecessary redundancy in research activities. This book offers the first systematic and unified discussion of light scattering by nonspherical particles and its practical applications and represents the state-of-the-art of this important research field. Individual chapters are written by leading experts in respective areas and cover three major disciplines: theoretical and numerical techniques, laboratory measurements, and practical applications. An overview chapter provides a concise general introduction to the subject of nonspherical scattering and should be especially useful to beginners and those interested in fast practical applications. The audience for this book will include graduate students, scientists, and engineers working on specific aspects of electromagnetic scattering by small particles and its applications in remote sensing, geophysics, astrophysics, biomedical optics, and optical engineering.

Key Features

  • The first systematic and comprehensive treatment of electromagnetic scattering by nonspherical particles and its applications
  • Individual chapters are written by leading experts in respective areas
  • Includes a survey of all the relevant literature scattered over dozens of basic and applied research journals
  • Consistent use of unified definitions and notation makes the book a coherent volume
  • An overview chapter provides a concise general introduction to the subject of light scattering by nonspherical particles
  • Theoretical chapters describe specific easy-to-use computer codes publicly available on the World Wide Web
  • Extensively illustrated with over 200 figures, 4 in color


Science professionals, engineers, and graduate students specializing in a wide range of disciplines: atmospheric radiation, remote sensing, climate research, radar meteorology, planetary and space physics, optical engineering, biomedical optics, oceanography, and astrophysics. Potential readers of the book work in universities, research laboratories, and government agencies such as NASA, NOAA, DOD, DOE, EPA, and USGS

Table of Contents

  • Preface. H.C. van de Hulst, Hints from History: A Foreword. Introduction. M.I. Michchenko, J.W. Hovenier, and L.D. Travis, Concepts, Terms, Notation. M.I. Mishchenko, W.J. Wiscombe, J.W. Hovenier, and L.D. Travis, Overview of Scattering by Nonspherical Particles. J.W. Hovenier and C.V.M. van der Mee, Basic Relationships for Matrices Describing Scattering by Small Particles. Theoretical and Numerical Techniques. I.R. Ciric and F.R. Cooray, Separation of Variables for Electromagnetic Scattering by Spheroidal Particles. B.T. Draine, The Discrete Dipole Approximation for Light Scattering by Irregular Targets. M.I. Mishchenko, L.D. Travis, and A. Macke, T-Matrix Method and its Applications. P. Yang and K.N. Liou, Finite-Difference Time Domain Method for Light Scattering by Nonspherical and Inhomogeneous Particles. Compounded Scattering by Compounded Spherical Particles. K.A. Fuller and D.W. Mackowski, Electromagnetic Scattering by Compounded Spherical Particles. P. Chýlek, G. Videen, D.J.W. Geldart, J.S. Dobbie, and H.C.W. Tso, Effective Medium Approximations for Heterogeneous Particles. A. Macke, Monte Carlo Calculations of Light Scattering by Large Particles with Multiple Internal Inclusions. K. Muinonen, Light Scattering by Stochastically Shaped Particles. Laboratory Measurements. J.W. Hovenier, Measuring Scattering Matrices of Small Particles at Optical Wavelengths. B.Å.S. Gustafson, Microwave Analog to Light Scattering Measurements. Applications. K. Sassen, Lidar Backscatter Depolarization Technique for Cloud and Aerosol Research. K.N. Liou, Y. Takano, and P. Yang, Light Scattering and Radiative Transfer in Ice Crystal Clouds: Applications to Climate Research. K. Aydin, Centimeter and Millimeter Wave Scattering from Nonspherical Hydrometeors. J.L. Haferman, Microwave Scattering by Precipitation. M.S. Quinby-Hunt, P.G. Hull, A.J. Hunt, Polarized Light Scattering in the Marine Environment. K. Lumme, Scattering Properties of Interplanetary Dust Particles. A.G. Hoekstra and P.M.A. Sloot, Biomedical and Biophysical Applications of Nonspherical Scattering.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 720
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1999
  • Published: September 10, 1999
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080510200
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124986602

About the Editors

Michael Mishchenko

Dr. Mishchenko received an Ms degree in Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1983 and a PhD degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (UNAS) in 1987. He was a senior research scientist at the Main Astronomical Observatory of UNAS from 1987-1992 and has been at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) since 1992. Currently he is a member of the GISS senior research staff and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Mishchenko was an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications from 1991-92 and has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer since 1995.

Affiliations and Expertise

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.

Joachim Hovenier

Affiliations and Expertise

Free University and University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Larry Travis

Affiliations and Expertise

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, U.S.A.

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