Abstract

The finite sum of the squares of the Mie coefficients is very useful for addressing problems of classical light scattering. An approximate formula available in the literature, and still in use today, has been developed to determine a priori the number of the most significant terms needed to evaluate the scattering cross section. Here, we obtain an improved formula, which includes the number of terms needed for determining the scattering cross section within a prescribed relative error. This is accomplished using extended precision computation for a wide range of commonly used size parameters and indices of refraction. The revised formula for the finite number of terms can be a promising and valuable approach for efficient modeling light scattering phenomena.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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