• synonyms


or back·scat·ter·ing

[bak-skat-er or bak-skat-er-ing]
noun Physics.
  1. the deflection of nuclear particles or of radiation in a scattering process through an angle greater than 90°.
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Origin of backscatter

First recorded in 1955–60; back2 + scatter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for back scatter

back scatter

noun physics
  1. the scattering of particles or radiation, such as sound waves, X-rays, or alpha-particles, by the atoms of the medium through which they pass, in the backward direction
  2. the radiation or particles so scattered
  3. a technique whereby very long-range radars locate targets hidden by the curvature of the earth. Radar beams are reflected off the underside of the troposphere onto the target and the return beams, similarly reflected, are measured
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

back scatter in Science


  1. The deflection of radiation or particles by electromagnetic or nuclear forces through angles greater than 90° to the initial direction of travel.
  2. The radiation or particles so deflected.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.