Discrete-dipole approximation for scattering calculations

Bruce T. Draine, Piotr J. Flatau

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3185 Scopus citations


The discrete-dipole approximation (DDA) for scattering calculations, including the relationship between the DDA and other methods, is reviewed. Computational considerations, i.e., the use of complex-conjugate gradient algorithms and fast-Fourier-transform methods, are discussed. We test the accuracy of the DDA by using the DDA to compute scattering and absorption by isolated, homogeneous spheres as well as by targets consisting of two contiguous spheres. It is shown that, for dielectric materials (m ≲ 2), the DDA permits calculations of scattering and absorption that are accurate to within a few percent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1499
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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