We use the volume integral equation formulation to consider frequency-domain electromagnetic scattering of a damped inhomogeneous plane wave by a particle immersed in an absorbing medium. We show that if absorption in the host medium is sufficiently weak and the particle size parameter is sufficiently small, then (i) the resulting formalism (including the far-field and radiative-transfer regimes) is largely the same as in the case of a nonabsorbing host medium, and (ii) one can bypass explicit use of sophisticated general solvers of the Maxwell equations applicable to inhomogeneous-wave illumination. These results offer dramatic simplifications for solving the scattering problem in a wide range of practical applications involving absorbing host media.
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