Abstract

The photon migration in two semi-infinite highly scattering media with different refractive indices is studied in the diffusion approximation for two sets of boundary conditions at the interface. In commonly used boundary conditions, the ratio of the intensity (fluence rate) to the squared refractive index is assumed continuous across an interface and the normal component of flux is required to be continuous. However, a more rigorous approach shows that the boundary condition for the intensity may be different. As was shown by Aronson [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 2532 (1995)] , the ratio of the intensity to the squared refractive index undergoes a jump across an interface that is proportional to the diffuse flux. A diffusion model with an instantaneous point source that can be solved analytically for both sets of boundary conditions is considered. The analytical solutions are derived and compared with the results of Monte Carlo simulations that take into account the reflections and refractions at the interface according to Fresnel’s formulas. It is shown that the analytical solutions with the Aronson boundary condition for intensity match the Monte Carlo results better than the solutions with a continuous ratio of the intensity to the squared refractive index.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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