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Scattering vs Backscattering | Difference between Scattering and Backscattering

This page compares Scattering vs Backscattering and mentions difference between Scattering and Backscattering.

The Electromagnetic waves or sun's ways need to travel through earth's atmosphere before it reaches the receiver. Atmosphere contains particles with various sizes and sources.

Electromagnetic (EM) radiation interacts with particles/gases present in the atmosphere. Following are the three processes involved in the attenuation of the EM radiation viz. scattering, absorption and refraction. Absorption refers to retention of EM radiation by molecules in the atmosphere. Refraction refers to passing of EM radiation through the atmosphere.


• The process due to which EM radiation or particles gets reflected or diffused is known as scattering.
• It results into redirection of EM radiation (EMR) from its original path.
• Scattering of EMR is caused by interaction of radiation with matter which results into re-radiation of part of energy to other directions and not in the path of incident radiation.
• Scattering effectively removes energy from incident beam. Unlike absorption, this energy is not lost but it is re-distributed to other directions.
• Scattering depends on number of particles present in the atmosphere.
• It also depends on size of the particles, incoming radiation wavelength and depth of atmosphere.
• There are different types of scattering viz. rayleigh scattering, mie scattering, non-selective scattering etc.

scattering vs backscattering,difference between scattering and backscattering


• In physics, Backscattering refers to reflection of EM/light waves or signals or particles back towards the direction from where they have arrived.
• It is opposite of forward scattering.
• It is type of diffuse reflection which is results of scattering as explained above.
• It is opposed to specular reflection due to mirror.
• The backscattering finds many applications in photography, astronomy, medical etc.

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