We discuss several outstanding theoretical problems in optical
diffusion in random media. Specifically, we discuss which of
several diffusion theories most closely approximates exact solutions of
the equation of transfer. We consider a plane wave impinging upon a
plane-parallel slab of a random medium as a model problem to compare
the diffusion theories with a numerical solution of the equation of
transfer for continuous-wave, pulsed, and photon density waves. In
addition, we discuss the validity of the diffusion approximation for a
variety of parameter settings to ascertain the diffusion
approximation’s applicability to imaging biological media.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
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