A Monte Carlo model of the ultrasonic modulation of multiply scattered coherent light in scattering media is provided. The model is based on two mechanisms: the ultrasonic modulation of the index of refraction, which causes a modulation of the optical path lengths between consecutive scattering events, and the ultrasonic modulation of the displacements of scatterers, which causes a modulation of optical path lengths with each scattering event. Multiply scattered light accumulates modulated optical path lengths along its path. Consequently, the intensity of the speckles that are formed by the multiply scattered light is modulated. The contribution from the index of refraction is comparable with the contribution from displacement when the acoustic-wave vector is less than a critical fraction of the transport mean free path and becomes increasingly greater than the contribution from displacement beyond this critical point. This Monte Carlo model agrees well with an independent analytical model for isotropically scattering media. Both mechanisms are coherent phenomena, requiring the use of a coherent light source.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(030.1670) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherent optical effects
(030.6600) Coherence and statistical optics : Statistical optics
(110.7170) Imaging systems : Ultrasound
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering
(290.7050) Scattering : Turbid media
Lihong V. Wang, "Mechanisms of ultrasonic modulation of multiply scattered coherent light: a Monte Carlo model," Opt. Lett. 26, 1191-1193 (2001)