Scattering: Random

About random scattering
Random scattering
  • Random scattering occurs when a material, due to irregularities or imperfections on its surface, reflects or transmits light rays in various unpredictable directions.
  • This scattering can produce a variety of effects:
    • Reflected light may appear hazy or lack detail, or there may be no clear reflection at all.
    • When light passes through sheets of glass with irregular yet smooth surfaces, random scattering distorts the view of the world beyond, making the image blurry and confused.
    • A reflection that is free of the effects of random scattering is called a specular reflection. Mirrors generally produce specular reflections.
Diffuse light
  • Diffuse light is a specific type of random scattering that occurs when light bounces off rough or uneven surfaces.
  • In these cases, the light scatters in all directions, creating a soft, even glow.
  • The overall structure and composition of a material can also cause diffuse light.
  • This happens when light travels through a medium that contains foreign materials, suspended particles, or has an irregular internal structure or variations in density.
  • Translucent materials containing dissolved substances, however, typically don’t cause random scattering because the particles are too small.
  • On a microscopic scale, all objects adhere to the law of reflection; however, when surface irregularities are larger than the wavelength of light, the light undergoes scattering leading to diffusion.