World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Photon diffusion

 

Photon diffusion

Photon diffusion is a situation where photons travel through a material without being absorbed, but rather undergoing repeated scattering events which change the direction of their path. The path of any given photon is then effectively a random walk. A large ensemble of such photons can be said to exhibit diffusion in the material, and can be described with a diffusion equation.

Astrophysics

In astrophysics, photon diffusion occurs inside a stellar atmosphere. To describe this phenomenon, one should develop the transfer equation in moments and use the Eddington approximation to radiative transfer (i.e. the diffusion approximation). In 3D the results are two equations for the photon energy flux:

\vec F = -\frac{c}{12\pi\sigma}\vec \nabla U,
\vec \nabla \cdot \vec F = 0,

where \sigma is the opacity. By substituting the first equation into the second, one obtains the diffusion equation for the photon energy density:

\nabla^2 U -\frac{1}{\sigma}\vec \nabla U \cdot \vec \nabla \sigma=0.

Medical science

In medicine, the diffusion of photons can be used to create images of the body (mainly brain and breast) and has contributed much to the advance of certain fields of research, such as neuroscience. This technique is known as diffuse optical imaging.

See also


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.