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Mie scattering of a plane wave by a sphere

Project description

miepython is a pure Python module to calculate light scattering by non-absorbing, partially-absorbing, or perfectly conducting spheres. Mie theory is used, following the procedure described by Wiscombe <>. This code has been validated against his results.

This code provides functions for calculating the extinction efficiency, scattering efficiency, backscattering, and scattering asymmetry. Moreover, a set of angles can be given to calculate the scattering for a sphere.

When comparing different Mie scattering codes, make sure that you’re aware of the conventions used by each code. miepython makes the following assumptions:

#. the imaginary part of the complex index of refraction for absorbing spheres is *negative*.
  1. the scattering phase function is normalized so it equals the single scattering albedo when integrated over 4π steradians.


Just use pip:

pip install miepython


The following code:

import miepython

m = 1.5-1j
x = 1
qext, qsca, qback, g = miepython.mie(m,x)

print("The extinction efficiency  is %.3f" % qext)
print("The scattering efficiency  is %.3f" % qsca)
print("The backscatter efficiency is %.3f" % qback)
print("The scattering anisotropy  is %.3f" % g)

should produce:

The extinction efficiency  is 2.336
The scattering efficiency  is 0.663
The backscatter efficiency is 0.573
The scattering anisotropy  is 0.192

Detailed documentation is available at <>

There are a few short scripts in the github repository.


miepython is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.

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