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A new numerical technique which we call finite‐difference coupling is presented for analyzing scattering by an array of conducting cylinders of arbitrary elemental cross section. The method yields the reflected and the transmitted far‐field modal amplitudes directly and eliminates the need to evaluate the surface fields initially. Computed numerical results for arrays of thin rectangular strips are compared with results based on other methods of solution. This comparison indicates the capability and the accuracy of the proposed technique. Further results are presented which reveal interesting physical phenomena. The success of the proposed technique makes the analysis of other problems of electromagnetics and a large class of the problems of physics possible. The method should, therefore, be of considerable interest to engineers and applied physicists.