Transient optical transport in highly scattering media such as tissues is usually modeled as a diffusion process in which the energy flux is assumed proportional to the fluence (intensity averaged over all solid angles) gradients. Such models exhibit an infinite speed of propagation of the optical signal, and finite transmission values are predicted even at times smaller than those associated with the propagation of light. If the hyperbolic, or wave, nature of the complete transient radiative transfer equation is retained, the resulting models do not exhibit such drawbacks. Additionally, the hyperbolic equations converge to the solution at a faster rate, which makes them very attractive for numerical applications in time-resolved optical tomography.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
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