Diffraction and scattering of high frequency waves
This thesis examines certain aspects of diffraction and scattering of high frequency waves, utilising and extending upon the Geometrical Theory of Diffraction (GTD). The first problem considered is that of scattering of electromagnetic plane waves by a perfectly conducting thin body, of aspect ratio O(k^1/2), where k is the dimensionless wavenumber. The edges of such a body have a radius of curvature which is comparable to the wavelength of the incident field, which lies inbetween the sharp and blunt cases traditionally treated by the GTD. The local problem of scattering by such an edge is that of a parabolic cylinder with the appropriate radius of curvature at the edge. The far field of the integral solution to this problem is examined using the method of steepest descents, extending the recent work of Tew ; in particular the behaviour of the field in the vicinity of the shadow boundaries is determined. These are fatter than those in the sharp or blunt cases, with a novel transition function. The second problem considered is that of scattering by thin shells of dielectric material. Under the assumption that the refractive index of the dielectric is large, approximate transition conditions for a layer of half a wavelength in thickness are formulated which account for the effects of curvature of the layer. Using these transition conditions the directivity of the fields scattered by a tightly curved tip region is determined, provided certain conditions are met by the tip curvature. In addition, creeping ray and whispering gallery modes outside such a curved layer are examined in the context of the GTD, and their initiation at a point of tangential incidence upon the layer is studied. The final problem considered concerns the scattering matrix of a closed convex body. A straightforward and explicit discussion of scattering theory is presented. Then the approximations of the GTD are used to find the first two terms in the asymptotic behaviour of the scattering phase, and the connection between the external scattering problem and the internal eigenvalue problem is discussed.