We investigate the propagation and scattering of polaritons in a planar GaAs microcavity in the linear regime under resonant excitation. The propagation of the coherent polariton wave across an extended defect creates phase and intensity patterns with identical qualitative features previously attributed to dark and half-dark solitons of polaritons. We demonstrate that these features are observed for negligible nonlinearity (i.e. polariton-polariton interaction) and are therefore not sufficient to identify dark- and half-dark solitons. A linear model based on the Maxwell equations is shown to reproduce the experimental observations.
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