Path Integral description of light transport in tissues

Steven L. Jacques, Xujing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The early photons that arrive at a collector through a large thickness of tissue have potential for imaging internal organ structure, function, and status with improved image resolution relative to late arriving photons which have been diffusely scattered. Calculation of early photon arrival at a collector after transport through large tissue thicknesses is difficult, yet a comparison of predicted vs measured transmission is at the heart of imaging algorithms. The Path Integral description of light transport offers an approach toward such calculations. The method describes the movement of photons as particles undergoing collisions in a scattering medium based on the Brownian motion formalism of Feynman and Hibbs. This paper presents a basic introduction to the Path Integral description of photon transport and discusses the constrained classical path for describing the most probable path of a photon and the unconstrained classical path for describing the group path of an ensemble of photons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-499
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue: Theory, Instrumentation, Model and Human Studies II - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 9 1997Feb 12 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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