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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: December 2019

1 - The Physical Grounds of Radiative Transfer

Summary

Radiative transfer, i.e., the transport of radiant energy through a medium, can be described in several alternative ways, either at macroscopic or microscopic level. In order to set a common physical background for the applications of radiative transfer to stellar and planetary atmospheres, presented in the second part of this book, a macroscopic representation of the radiation field derived from radiometry, a microscopic picture based on the kinetics of photons and the transport of radiant energy in terms of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory are discussed.