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Co- and counter-propagating wave effects in an absorbing medium

Mishchenko, M., and M. A. Yurkin (2020), Co- and counter-propagating wave effects in an absorbing medium, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 242, 106688, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2019.106688.

In this semi-tutorial paper, we revisit the interference phenomena caused by pairs of co-propagating or counter-propagating transverse electromagnetic waves by letting the host medium be absorbing. We first consider plane waves in an unbounded medium, summarize the standing-wave solution of the Maxwell equations, and discuss specific effects caused by nonvanishing absorption. We then consider the superposition of plane and spherical waves in the context of far-field electromagnetic scattering by a particle. To this end we modify the classical Jones lemma by allowing nonzero absorption in the host medium and consider its most obvious consequences such as forward- and backscattering interference. The physical similarity of the two scenarios (superpositions of plane waves and superpositions of plane and spherical waves) is discussed.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)