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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2008 Jul;25(7):1480-5.

Relationship between the Kubelka-Munk scattering and radiative transfer coefficients.

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  • 1School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


The relationship between the Kubelka-Munk (K-M) and the transport scattering coefficient is obtained through a semi-empirical approach. This approach gives the same result as that given by Gate [Appl. Opt.13, 236 (1974)] when the incident beam is diffuse. This result and those given by Star et al. [Phys. Med. Biol.33, 437 (1988)] and Brinkworth [Appl. Opt.11, 1434 (1972)] are compared with the exact solution of the radiative transfer equation over a large range of optical properties. It is found that the latter expressions, which include an absorption component, do not give accurate results over the range considered. Using the semi-empirical approach, the relationship between the K-M and the transport scattering coefficient is derived for the case where the incident light is collimated. It is shown that although the K-M equation is derived based on diffuse incident light, it can also represent very well the reflectance from a slab of infinite thickness when the incident light is collimated. However, in this case the relationship between the coefficients has to include a function that is dependent on the anisotropy factor. Analysis indicates that the K-M transform achieves the objective of obtaining a measure that gives the ratio of absorption to scattering effects for both diffuse and collimated incident beams over a large range of optical properties.

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