back·​scat·​ter | \ ˈbak-ˌska-tər How to pronounce backscatter (audio) \
variants: or less commonly backscattering \ ˈbak-​ˌska-​tə-​riŋ How to pronounce backscattering (audio) \

Definition of backscatter

: the scattering of radiation or particles in a direction opposite to that of the incident radiation due to reflection from particles of the medium traversed also : the radiation or particles so reversed in direction

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Other Words from backscatter

backscatter verb

Examples of backscatter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, backscatter instruments atop the ship scanned seafloor for any hard objects. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists May Have Found Meteorite Fragments in the Ocean," 8 July 2018 The technique, called backscatter, has previously been used for low-data rate sensors, like those used for temperatures. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers May Have Solved HD Streaming's Battery Problem," 21 Apr. 2018 These companies exploit a property of the cables called 'backscatter' to track movement of the cables and record seismic events. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Can Spot Earthquakes Using Fiber Optic Cables," 20 Oct. 2017 Some of that light hits impurities in the glass walls of the cable and bounces back; this is the 'backscatter' referred to earlier. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Can Spot Earthquakes Using Fiber Optic Cables," 20 Oct. 2017 Most exciting applications Smith says the backscatter chips could be manufactured for less than a quarter apiece. NBC News, "How the 'Internet of Things' Will Change Everything," 29 Sep. 2017 The phone generates its own signal using backscatter, a technique already common in RFID—as in radio frequency identification—chips that encodes existing radio signals with new information and reflects them back to a receiver. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "The Best Phone Battery Might Be No Battery At All," 9 July 2017 Callerame's solution is to combine radiation sensors with advanced X-ray technologies, like the backscatter system that produced the startling image of the Mercedes. Steven Johnson, WIRED, "Stopping Loose Nukes," 1 Nov. 2002

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backscatter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backscatter

1936, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of backscatter was in 1936

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Cite this Entry

“Backscatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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