Light scattering by a cube: Accuracy limits of the discrete dipole approximation and the T-matrix method
Journal article, 2013

We simulated light-scattering by small and wavelength-sized cubes with three largely different values of the refractive index using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA) and the T-matrix method. Our main goal was to push the accuracy of both methods to the limit. For the DDA we used an earlier developed extrapolation technique based on simulation results for different levels of discretization. For the T-matrix method we developed a procedure to estimate a confidence range for the simulated value, using results for different values of the truncation index (number of multipoles). In most cases this confidence range was reliable, enclosing the corresponding DDA result. We present benchmark results by both methods, including estimated uncertainties, for selected integral and angle-resolved scattering quantities. Estimated relative uncertainties of the DDA result are unprecedentedly small (from 10(-7) to 10(-3)), while relative differences between the T-matrix and DDA results are larger (from 10(-4) to 0.2) in accordance with estimated T-matrix uncertainties.


electromagnetic scattering


Discrete dipole approximation





boundary-condition method

Light scattering simulation

Benchmark results

shaped particles



M. A. Yurkin

Voevodsky Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion

Novosibirsk State University

Michael Kahnert

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Global Environmental Measurements and Modelling

Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer

0022-4073 (ISSN)

Vol. 123 176-183

Aerosol Optics in Global Earth System Modelling (AGES)

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2011-3346), 2011-10-26 -- 2014-10-26.

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry



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