Scattering

In general terms, light scattering takes place when streams of photons (or waves of light) are deflected in different directions.  In this resource, the term is used to refer to the effects produced by dispersion, deviation and diffusion.

Scattering caused by deviation
  • When light of a particular wavelength strikes the surface of a raindrop its subsequent path depends upon the point of impact of different rays. in this example, the rays scatter as they exit the droplet. In this case scattering is not random and obeys the law of refraction (Snell’s law).
Scattering caused by diffusion
  • Diffusion causes scattering and results from light being reflected randomly in different directions. Diffuse reflections are the result of scattering as is the case when light reflects off a rough surface.
Scattering caused by dispersion
Scattering in physics

Rayleigh scattering. Rayleigh scattering refers to the scattering of visible light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. Rayleigh scattering is wavelength dependent.

Mie scattering. Mie scattering refers to the scattering of visible light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles larger than the wavelength of the radiation. Mie scattering is wavelength dependent. Mie scattering is responsible for the white appearance of the clouds.

Non-selective scattering. Non-selective scattering is similar to Mie scattering and takes place when the particles are much larger than the incident radiation. This type of scattering is not wavelength dependent and is the primary cause of atmospheric haze.

References
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scattering
  • https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=Rayleigh+scattering
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mie_scattering