We present a theory for the multiple scattering of light by obstacles situated over a rough surface. This problem is important for applications in biological and chemical sensors. To keep the formulation of this theory simple, we study scalar waves. This theory requires knowledge of the scattering operator (t-matrix) for each of the obstacles as well as the reflection operator for the rough surface. The scattering operator gives the field scattered by the obstacle due to an exciting field incident on the scatterer. The reflection operator gives the field reflected by the rough surface due to an exciting field incident on the rough surface. We apply this general theory for the special case of point scatterers and a slightly rough surface with homogeneous Dirichlet and Neumann boundary conditions. We show examples that demonstrate the utility of this theory.
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