With regards to light, scattering describes a wave of light hitting an object and being redirected by that object.
Source: Malm, William C., 1999. Introduction to visibility. Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. NPS Visibility Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO: 79 p. As cited in: Hardy, Colin C., Ottmar, Roger D., Peterson, Janice L., Core, John E., and Seamon, Paula. 2001. Smoke Management Guide for Prescribed and Wildland Fire 2001 Edition. Produced by the National Wildfire coordinating Group Fire Use Working Team.