The scattering of light from a slightly rough surface overlying a reflecting surface is investigated. It is shown that the long-scale component of the roughness spectrum plays a critical role in the scattering patterns obtained. The scattered interference patterns are critically dependent on small variation of the rms height of the long-scale component of the roughness. Conventional perturbation theory is found to be invalid in cases in which interference phenomena in the scattering are of importance. A model is proposed that quantitatively describes the measured angular intensity distributions.
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