Abstract

Simple yet accurate results for radiative transfer in layered media with discontinuous refractive index are obtained by the method of K-integrals. These are certain weighted integrals applied to the angular intensity distribution at the refracting boundaries. The radiative intensity is expressed as the sum of the asymptotic angular intensity distribution valid in the depth of the scattering medium and a transient term valid near the boundary. Integrated boundary equations are obtained, yielding simple linear equations for the intensity coefficients, enabling the angular emission intensity and the diffuse reflectance (albedo) and transmittance of the scattering layer to be calculated without solving the radiative transfer equation directly. Examples are given of half-space, slab, interface, and double-layer calculations, and extensions to multilayer systems are indicated. The K-integral method is orders of magnitude more accurate than diffusion theory and can be applied to layered scattering media with a wide range of scattering albedos, with potential applications to biomedical and ocean optics.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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