Chris Sorensen

sorensen The Kansas State Interpretation of Light Scattering

About the Presenter:

Christopher M. Sorensen is the Cortelyou-Rust University Distinguished Professor and a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry (adjunct). His research work concerns particulate systems, light scattering, synthesis of nanoparticles and graphene, and soft matter physics. He has won numerous teaching awards including the 2007 CASE/Carnegie Foundation United States Professor of the year for doctoral universities. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research, the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Full Presentation:


I will present an overview of light scattering by particles of any shape that takes the perspective that scattering starts at the wave diffraction limit and then adds the electromagnetic nature of light. The wave diffraction limit leads to the use of the scattering wave vector q as the angular variable, instead of the scattering angle, in an analysis method that we call the “Q-space analysis”. The analysis uncovers power law descriptions of the scattering with quantifiable exponents and length scale dependent crossovers between the power laws for a wide variety of particles including Mie scattering by spheres, fractal aggregates, irregularly shaped particles such as dusts and perturbed spheres. A clear benefit of Q-space analysis is that it provides a simple and quantifiable description of light scattering that can be used to differentiate scattering by particles of different shapes. An unfolding benefit is that it leads to a new interpretation of what happens when light scatters from any object in terms of the convolution of diffraction and electromagnetism.