Abstract

A transparent plate with rough plane-parallel surfaces is used as a theoretical model to explain the interaction of diffuse light with a compact plant leaf. Effective optical constants of a corn leaf have been determined from leaf reflectance and transmittance measured over the spectral range 0.5–2.5 μ with a recording spectrophotometer. The effective index of refraction at 0.5 μ for the corn leaf is not inconsistent with the refractive index of epicuticular wax. The effective absorption spectra of the corn leaf appears to be a superposition of the absorption coefficients of chlorophyll and pure liquid water. Residual spectral data from other leaf constituents are at the resolution limit of the spectrophotometer. The plate model of a leaf is also used to determine moisture content of the corn leaf from reflectance and transmittance measurements.

© 1969 Optical Society of America

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