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Rayleigh scattering

Rayleigh scattering The scattering of electromagnetic radiation by spherical particles with radii that are less than 10 per cent that of the wavelength of the incident radiation. Such scattering by air molecules produces the blue colour of the sky. Particles such as dust and smoke, which are significantly smaller than 0.4 μm (the wavelength of the blue/violet or lower limit of the visible spectrum) can also scatter visible radiation. Reddish colours at sunset and sunrise result from Rayleigh scattering; these longer wavelengths pass directly through the atmosphere to the observer, while particles in the air scatter out radiation of shorter wavelengths. The phenomenon was described by the English physicist Baron Rayleigh ( John William Strutt, 1842–1919). See also Mie scattering.

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"Rayleigh scattering." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rayleigh scattering." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rayleigh-scattering-0

"Rayleigh scattering." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rayleigh-scattering-0

Rayleigh scattering

Rayleigh scattering The scattering of electromagnetic radiation by spherical particles with radii that are less than 10% that of the wavelength of the incident radiation. Such scattering by air molecules produces the blue effect of the sky. Particles such as dust and smoke, that are significantly smaller than 0.4 μm (the wavelength of the blue/violet or lower limit of the visible spectrum) can also scatter visible radiation. Reddish colours at sunset and sunrise result from Rayleigh scattering; these longer wavelengths pass directly through the atmosphere to the observer, while particles in the air scatter out radiation of shorter wavelengths. See also MIE SCATTERING.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
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"Rayleigh scattering." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rayleigh scattering." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rayleigh-scattering

"Rayleigh scattering." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rayleigh-scattering