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scatter scat·ter (skāt'ər)
v. scat·tered, scat·ter·ing, scat·ters
To cause to separate and go in different directions.
To separate and go in different directions; disperse.
To deflect radiation or particles.
The spreading of a stream of particles or a beam of rays, as of light, over a range of directions as a result of collisions with other particles. The sky appears blue due to the tendency of air molecules to scatter blue and violet light more than light of other frequencies. The scattering probabilities and patterns of subatomic particles, accelerated by particle accelerators and aimed at a target, is a major component of experimental particle physics. See also diffusion, cross section.