The process by which electromagnetic radiation interacts with and is redirected by the molecules of the atmosphere, ocean, or land surface. The term is frequently applied to the interaction of the atmosphere on sunlight, which causes the sky to appear blue (since light near the blue end of the spectrum is scattered much more than light near the red end).
Of a wave propagating in a material medium, a phenomenon in which the direction, frequency, or polarization of the wave is changed when the wave encounters discontinuities in the medium, or interacts with the material at the atomic or molecular level.
scattering center - In the microstructure of a transmission medium, a site at which electromagnetic waves are scattered.
scattering coefficient - The factor that expresses the attenuation caused by scattering, e.g., of radiant or acoustic energy, during its passage through a medium.
scattering cross section - The area of an incident wavefront, at a reflecting surface or medium, such as an object in space, through which will pass radiant energy, that, if isotropically scattered from that point, would produce the same power at a given receiver as is actually provided by the entire reflecting surface.
scattering loss - The part of the transmission (power) loss that results from scattering within a transmission medium or from roughness of a reflecting surface.