Published: Dec. 7, 2018

Spectral Problems in Inverse Scattering for Inhomogeneous Media

The inverse scattering problem for inhomogeneous (possibly anisotropic) media amounts to solving a nonlinear ill-posed equation, thus presenting difficulties in arriving at a solution. Furthermore, in the case of anisotropic media, the matrix value refractive index may not be uniquely determined from scattering data.  In recent years alternative methods for imaging have been developed, which as opposed to nonlinear optimization techniques, only seek limited information about the scattering object. Such methods come under the general title of qualitative methods in inverse scattering theory; they yield computationally simple reconstruction algorithms  by investigating properties of the linear scattering  operator to decode non-linear information about the scattering object.  In this spirit, a possible approach  is to exploit spectral properties of operators associated with scattering phenomena which carry essential information about the media. The identified  eigenvalues must satisfy two important properties: 1) can be determined from the scattering operator,  and 2) are related to geometrical and physical properties of the media in an understandable way.


In this talk we will discuss some old and new eigenvalue problems arising in scattering theory for inhomogeneous media.  We will present a two-fold discussion: on one hand relating the eigenvalues to the measurement operator (to address the first property) and on the other hand viewing them as the spectrum of appropriate (possibly non-self-adjoint) partial differential operators (to address the second property). Numerical examples will be presented to show what kind of  information these eigenvalues, and more generally the  qualitative approach,  yield  on the unknown inhomogeneity.