The scattering of light from spherically shaped particles has been well characterized: it has been derived analytically, modeled computationally and measured experimentally. However, many natural and man-made particle systems are not spherical and these have formed the basis of many recent investigative programs. Modeling the light scattered by non-spherical particle systems using numerical algorithms often is limited by the computational power required to attain a mathematical solution, although increasing capacity and enhanced algorithm sophistication continually extend our capabilities. Experimental measurements can require expensive apparatus and can seldom simultaneously and accurately record all the scattering characteristics. Therefore, computational and experimental approaches often complement one another and enhance our knowledge of the light scattering and the particle systems. Theoreticians and modelers often seek experimental data for verification and to find regions of applicability of their models, and experimentalists may use theoretical results for calibration and performing inversions. Research collaborations between the camps inevitably develop.
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