Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


First-principles modeling of electromagnetic scattering by discrete and...

Mishchenko, M., J. M. Dlugach, M. A. Yurkin, L. Bi, B. Cairns, L. Liu, R. L. Panetta, L. D. Travis, P. Yang, and N. T. Zakharova (2016), First-principles modeling of electromagnetic scattering by discrete and discretely heterogeneous random media, Physics Reports, 632, 1-75.

A discrete random medium is an object in the form of a finite volume of a vacuum or a homogeneous material medium filled with quasi-randomly and quasi-uniformly distributed discrete macroscopic impurities called small particles. Such objects are ubiquitous in natural and artificial environments. They are often characterized by analyzing theoretically the results of laboratory, in situ, or remote-sensing measurements of the scattering of light and other electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic scattering and absorption by particles can also affect the energy budget of a discrete random medium and hence various ambient physical and chemical processes. In either case electromagnetic scattering must be modeled in terms of appropriate optical observables, i.e., quadratic or bilinear forms in the field that quantify the reading of a relevant optical instrument or the electromagnetic energy budget. It is generally believed that timeharmonic Maxwell’s equations can accurately describe elastic electromagnetic scattering by macroscopic particulate media that change in time much more slowly than the incident electromagnetic field. However, direct solutions of these equations for discrete random media had been impracticable until quite recently. This has led to a widespread use of various phenomenological approaches in situations when their very applicability can be questioned. Recently, however, a new branch of physical optics has emerged wherein electromagnetic scattering by discrete and discretely heterogeneous random media is modeled directly by using analytical or numerically exact computer solutions of the Maxwell equations. Therefore, the main objective of this Report is to formulate the general theoretical framework of electromagnetic scattering by discrete random media rooted in the Maxwell–Lorentz electromagnetics and discuss its immediate analytical and numerical consequences. Starting from the microscopic Maxwell–Lorentz equations, we trace the development of the first-principles formalism enabling accurate calculations of monochromatic and quasi-monochromatic scattering by static and randomly varying multiparticle groups. We illustrate how this general framework can be coupled with

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)