"Independent" and "dependent" scattering by particles in a multi-particle group

Mishchenko, M. (2018), "Independent" and "dependent" scattering by particles in a multi-particle group, OSA Continuum, 1, 243-260, doi:10.1364/OSAC.1.000243.

The terms “independent” and “dependent” scattering are ubiquitous in the phenomenological discipline of light scattering by particulate media. Yet there is a wide range of ad hoc definitions of these terms, many of which are vague and conceptually inconsequential. In this paper we perform a first-principles analysis of these terms based on the rigorous volume-integral-equation formulation of electromagnetic scattering. We argue that scattering by a multi-particle group can be called independent if certain optical observables for the entire group can be expressed in appropriate single-particle observables. Otherwise one deals with the dependent scattering regime. The prime (and perhaps the only) examples of independent scattering are scattering scenarios described by the first-orderscattering approximation and the first-principles radiative transfer theory.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)