9789811009433-c2.pdf - Chapter 2 Basic Principles of Light...

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Chapter 2 Basic Principles of Light Abstract The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the fundamental behavior of light. Having a good grasp of the basic principles of light is important for understanding how light interacts with biological matter, which is the basis of biophotonics. A challenging aspect of applying light to biological materials is that the optical properties of the materials generally vary with the light wavelength and can depend on factors such as the optical power per area irradiated, the temperature, the light exposure time, and light polarization. The following topics are included in this chapter: the characteristics of lightwaves, polarization, quantization and photon energy, re fl ection and refraction, and the concepts of interference and coherence. Having a good grasp of the basic principles of light is important for understanding how light interacts with biological matter, which is the basis of biophotonics. As Chap. 6 describes, light impinging on a biological tissue can pass through or be absorbed, re fl ected, or scattered in the material. The degree of these interactions of light with tissue depends signi fi cantly on the characteristics of the light and on the optical properties of the tissue. A challenging aspect of applying light to biological materials is the fact that the optical properties of the material generally vary with the light wavelength. In addition, the optical properties of tissue can depend on factors such as the optical power per area irradiated, the temperature, the light exposure time, and light polarization. Chapter 6 and subsequent chapters present further details on these light-tissue interaction effects. The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the fundamental behavior of light [ 1 11 ]. The theory of quantum optics describes light as having properties of both waves and particles. This phenomenon is called the wave - particle duality . The dual wave-particle picture describes the transportation of optical energy either by means of the classical electromagnetic wave concept of light or by means of quantized energy units or photons . The wave theory can be employed to understand fundamental optical concepts such as re fl ection, refraction, dispersion, absorption, luminescence, diffraction, birefringence, and scattering. However, the particle theory is needed to explain the processes of photon generation and absorption. © Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016 G. Keiser, Biophotonics , Graduate Texts in Physics, DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-0945-7_2 25
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The following topics are included in this chapter: the characteristics of light- waves, polarization, quantization and photon energy, re fl ection and refraction, and the concepts of interference and coherence.
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