Demonstration of numerical equivalence of ensemble and spectral averaging in electromagnetic scattering by random particulate media

J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2016 Apr 1;33(4):618-24. doi: 10.1364/JOSAA.33.000618.


The numerically exact superposition T-matrix method is used to model far-field electromagnetic scattering by two types of particulate object. Object 1 is a fixed configuration that consists of N identical spherical particles (with N=200 or 400) quasi-randomly populating a spherical volume V having a median size parameter of 50. Object 2 is a true discrete random medium (DRM) comprising the same number N of particles randomly moving throughout V. The median particle size parameter is fixed at 4. We show that if Object 1 is illuminated by a quasi-monochromatic parallel beam then it generates a typical speckle pattern having no resemblance to the scattering pattern generated by Object 2. However, if Object 1 is illuminated by a parallel polychromatic beam with a 10% bandwidth then it generates a scattering pattern that is largely devoid of speckles and closely reproduces the quasi-monochromatic pattern generated by Object 2. This result serves to illustrate the capacity of the concept of electromagnetic scattering by a DRM to encompass fixed quasi-random particulate samples provided that they are illuminated by polychromatic light.