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Thomson scattering is the elastic scattering of electromagnetic radiation by a free charged particle, as described by classical electromagnetism. It is the low-energy limit of Compton scattering: the particle's kinetic energy and photon frequency do not change as a result of the scattering. , or equivalently, if the wavelength of the light is much greater than the Compton wavelength of the particle.This limit is valid as long as the photon energy is much smaller than the mass energy of the particle:
In the low-energy limit, the electric field of the incident wave (photon) accelerates the charged particle, causing it, in turn, to emit radiation at the same frequency as the incident wave, and thus the wave is scattered. Thomson scattering is an important phenomenon in plasma physics and was first explained by the physicist J. J. Thomson. As long as the motion of the particle is non-relativistic (i.e. its speed is much less than the speed of light), the main cause of the acceleration of the particle will be due to the electric field component of the incident wave. In a first approximation, the influence of the magnetic field can be neglected.[ citation needed ] The particle will move in the direction of the oscillating electric field, resulting in electromagnetic dipole radiation. The moving particle radiates most strongly in a direction perpendicular to its acceleration and that radiation will be polarized along the direction of its motion. Therefore, depending on where an observer is located, the light scattered from a small volume element may appear to be more or less polarized.
The electric fields of the incoming and observed wave (i.e. the outgoing wave) can be divided up into those components lying in the plane of observation (formed by the incoming and observed waves) and those components perpendicular to that plane. Those components lying in the plane are referred to as "radial" and those perpendicular to the plane are "tangential". (It is difficult to make these terms seem natural, but it is standard terminology.)
The diagram on the right depicts the plane of observation. It shows the radial component of the incident electric field, which causes the charged particles at the scattering point to exhibit a radial component of acceleration (i.e., a component tangent to the plane of observation). It can be shown that the amplitude of the observed wave will be proportional to the cosine of χ, the angle between the incident and observed waves. The intensity, which is the square of the amplitude, will then be diminished by a factor of cos2(χ). It can be seen that the tangential components (perpendicular to the plane of the diagram) will not be affected in this way.
The scattering is best described by an emission coefficient which is defined as ε where ε dt dV dΩ dλ is the energy scattered by a volume element in time dt into solid angle dΩ between wavelengths λ and λ+dλ. From the point of view of an observer, there are two emission coefficients, εr corresponding to radially polarized light and εt corresponding to tangentially polarized light. For unpolarized incident light, these are given by:
where is the density of charged particles at the scattering point, is incident flux (i.e. energy/time/area/wavelength) and is the Thomson cross section for the charged particle, defined below. The total energy radiated by a volume element in time dt between wavelengths λ and λ+dλ is found by integrating the sum of the emission coefficients over all directions (solid angle):
The Thomson differential cross section, related to the sum of the emissivity coefficients, is given by
expressed in SI units; q is the charge per particle, m the mass of particle, and a constant, the permittivity of free space. (To obtain an expression in cgs units, drop the factor of 4πε0.) Integrating over the solid angle, we obtain the Thomson cross section
in SI units.
The important feature is that the cross section is independent of photon frequency. The cross section is proportional by a simple numerical factor to the square of the classical radius of a point particle of mass m and charge q, namely
Alternatively, this can be expressed in terms of , the Compton wavelength, and the fine structure constant:
For an electron, the Thomson cross-section is numerically given by:
The cosmic microwave background contains a small linearly-polarized component attributed to Thomson scattering. That polarized component mapping out the so-called E-modes was first detected by DASI in 2002.
The solar K-corona is the result of the Thomson scattering of solar radiation from solar coronal electrons. The ESA and NASA SOHO mission and the NASA STEREO mission generate three-dimensional images of the electron density around the sun by measuring this K-corona from three separate satellites.
In tokamaks, corona of ICF targets and other experimental fusion devices, the electron temperatures and densities in the plasma can be measured with high accuracy by detecting the effect of Thomson scattering of a high-intensity laser beam.
Inverse-Compton scattering can be viewed as Thomson scattering[ dubious ] in the rest frame of the relativistic particle.
X-ray crystallography is based on Thomson scattering.
The Beer–Lambert law, also known as Beer's law, the Lambert–Beer law, or the Beer–Lambert–Bouguer law relates the attenuation of light to the properties of the material through which the light is travelling. The law is commonly applied to chemical analysis measurements and used in understanding attenuation in physical optics, for photons, neutrons, or rarefied gases. In mathematical physics, this law arises as a solution of the BGK equation.
In physics, the cross section is a measure of probability that a specific process will take place in a collision of two particles. For example, the Rutherford cross-section is a measure of probability that an alpha-particle will be deflected by a given angle during a collision with an atomic nucleus. Cross section is typically denoted σ (sigma) and is expressed in terms of the transverse area that the incident particle must hit in order for the given process to occur.
Rayleigh scattering, named after the nineteenth-century British physicist Lord Rayleigh, is the predominantly elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. For light frequencies well below the resonance frequency of the scattering particle, the amount of scattering is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength.
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The classical electron radius is a combination of fundamental physical quantities that define a length scale for problems involving an electron interacting with electromagnetic radiation. It links the classical electrostatic self-interaction energy of a homogeneous charge distribution to the electron's relativistic mass–energy. According to modern understanding, the electron is a point particle with a point charge and no spatial extent. Attempts to model the electron as a non-point particle have been described as ill-conceived and counter-pedagogic. Nevertheless, it is useful to define a length that characterizes electron interactions in atomic-scale problems. The classical electron radius is given as
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Antenna measurement techniques refers to the testing of antennas to ensure that the antenna meets specifications or simply to characterize it. Typical parameters of antennas are gain, bandwidth, radiation pattern, beamwidth, polarization, and impedance.
The Newman–Penrose (NP) formalism is a set of notation developed by Ezra T. Newman and Roger Penrose for general relativity (GR). Their notation is an effort to treat general relativity in terms of spinor notation, which introduces complex forms of the usual variables used in GR. The NP formalism is itself a special case of the tetrad formalism, where the tensors of the theory are projected onto a complete vector basis at each point in spacetime. Usually this vector basis is chosen to reflect some symmetry of the spacetime, leading to simplified expressions for physical observables. In the case of the NP formalism, the vector basis chosen is a null tetrad: a set of four null vectors—two real, and a complex-conjugate pair. The two real members asymptotically point radially inward and radially outward, and the formalism is well adapted to treatment of the propagation of radiation in curved spacetime. The Weyl scalars, derived from the Weyl tensor, are often used. In particular, it can be shown that one of these scalars— in the appropriate frame—encodes the outgoing gravitational radiation of an asymptotically flat system.
Dielectric loss quantifies a dielectric material's inherent dissipation of electromagnetic energy. It can be parameterized in terms of either the loss angleδ or the corresponding loss tangent tan δ. Both refer to the phasor in the complex plane whose real and imaginary parts are the resistive (lossy) component of an electromagnetic field and its reactive (lossless) counterpart.
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When an electromagnetic wave travels through a medium in which it gets attenuated, it undergoes exponential decay as described by the Beer–Lambert law. However, there are many possible ways to characterize the wave and how quickly it is attenuated. This article describes the mathematical relationships among:
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Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are electromagnetic waves that travel along a metal–dielectric or metal–air interface, practically in the infrared or visible-frequency. The term "surface plasmon polariton" explains that the wave involves both charge motion in the metal and electromagnetic waves in the air or dielectric ("polariton").
In physics and engineering, the radiative heat transfer from one surface to another is the equal to the difference of incoming and outgoing radiation from the first surface. In general, the heat transfer between surfaces is governed by temperature, surface emissivity properties and the geometry of the surfaces. The relation for heat transfer can be written as an integral equation with boundary conditions based upon surface conditions. Kernel functions can be useful in approximating and solving this integral equation.
Johnson W.R.; Nielsen J.; Cheng K.T. (2012). "Thomson scattering in the average-atom approximation". Physical Review. 86 (3): 036410. arXiv: 1207.0178 . Bibcode:2012PhRvE..86c6410J. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.86.036410. PMID 23031036. S2CID 10413904.