The statistical properties of laser speckle with partially coherent light are related to the scattering characteristics of an optically diffuse material. A diffusion equation model is shown to yield a speckle contrast ratio that agrees well with measurements of opaque plastics of varying thicknesses. We show that partially coherent light can be used to determine material parameters for highly scattering media. Measured data for stratified materials with differing scattering properties indicate that this technique may be useful in detecting inhomogeneities.
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