Can you explain the scattering of light?

Can you explain the scattering of light?

Grade:Upto college level

1 Answers

askIITIians Expert
21 Points
13 years ago

Scattering of light

When a parallel beam of light passes through a gas, a part of it appears in directions other than the incident direction. This phenomenon is called scattering of light. The basic process in scattering is absorption of light by the molecules followed by its re-radiation in different directions. The strength of scattering can be measured by the loss of energy in the light beam as it passes through the gas. It should be distinguished from the absorption of light as it passes through a medium. In absorption, the light energy is converted into internal energy of the medium whereas in scattering, the light energy is radiated in other directions. The strength of scattering depends on the wavelength of the light beside the size of the particles which cause scattering. If these particles are smaller than the wavelength, the scattering is proportional to 1/ ?? 4


This is known as Rayleigh’s law of scattering . Thus, red light is scattered the least and violet is scattered the most. This is why, red signals are used to indicate dangers. Such a signal goes to large distances without an appreciable loss due to scattering

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