Abstract

We modified the diffusion approximation of the time-dependent radiative transfer equation to account for a finite scattering delay time. Under the usual assumptions of the diffusion approximation, the effect of the scattering delay leads to a simple renormalization of the light velocity that appears in the diffusion equation. Accuracy of the model was evaluated by comparison with Monte Carlo simulations in the frequency domain for a semi-infinite geometry. A good agreement is demonstrated for both matched and mismatched boundary conditions when the distance from the source is sufficiently large. The modified diffusion model predicts that the neglect of the scattering delay when the optical properties of the turbid material are derived from normalized frequency- or time-domain measurements should result in an underestimation of the absorption coefficient and an overestimation of the transport coefficient. These observations are consistent with the published experimental data.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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