Abstract

The full scattering pattern from a sphere in the vicinity of a plane surface is calculated through an approach based on the expansion of the electromagnetic field in terms of vector multipole fields and on the imposition of the boundary conditions. Our approach does not invoke any approximation but can easily incorporate the simplifying assumptions of Bobbert and Vlieger [Physica (Utrecht) 137A, 202 (1986)] and of Johnson [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 326 (1996)], whose results are compared with ours. Real progress is achieved, since, unlike the previous theories but in agreement with the available experimental data, a nonvanishing field is allowed to propagate along the surface, even when the latter is nonperfectly reflecting.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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