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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 28, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 2011
  • pp: 1765–1775

Derivation of the scalar radiative transfer equation from energy conservation of Maxwell’s equations in the far field

Jorge Ripoll  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 28, Issue 8, pp. 1765-1775 (2011)

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In this paper the expression for the radiative transfer equation (RTE) commonly used when describing light propagation in biological tissues is derived directly from the equation of energy conservation of Maxwell’s equations (Poynting’s theorem) by making use of a volume-averaged expression for the time-averaged flow of energy. The derivation is presented step by step with Maxwell’s equations as the starting point, analyzing all approximations taken in order to arrive at the expression of the scalar RTE employed in biomedical applications, which neglects particle nonsphericity and orientation, depolarization, and coherence effects.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5620) Coherence and statistical optics : Radiative transfer
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: May 10, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: June 21, 2011
Published: July 29, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Jorge Ripoll, "Derivation of the scalar radiative transfer equation from energy conservation of Maxwell’s equations in the far field," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 28, 1765-1775 (2011)

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