Abstract

The differential cross section for radiation scattered by a particle that is large compared to the wavelength, and resting on an optically smooth surface, is characterized by an intense, narrow peak in the direction of the reflected beam. This peak is shown to be due mainly to Fraunhofer diffraction by the overlapping projections of the particle and its image on a plane perpendicular to the reflected beam. Results calculated with this simple diffraction theory are compared with accurate results calculated by the multipole expansion method. Simple analytic formulas are derived that characterize the width and height of the central diffraction peak.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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