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Physics of Scattering and Greenhouse Gases


Two video lectures titled, ‘Physics of scattering, emission and absorption’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures explain the behaviour of Earth’s atmosphere due to interaction between gases and sun’s radiation which lead to radiative absorption, emission and scattering.

Students will learn about reflection, refraction, isotropic scattering, greenhouse gases, extinction coefficient, Prevost law, Stefan Boltzmann law, thermal conductivity of water, Kirchhoff’s law, Marshall-Palmer distribution, Rayleigh scattering, Mie scattering, Doppler and Lorentz broadening and Gaussian distribution.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How do greenhouse gases interact with incoming solar radiation?
  2. Discuss the physics of scattering in the atmosphere.
About Tool
Tool Name Lecture – 33 and 34: Physics of scattering, emission and absorption
Discipline Physics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Climate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Prevost law, Stefan Boltzmann law, Kirchhoff’s law, Marshall-Palmer distribution, Rayleigh scattering
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance, Climate and the Atmosphere  
Type of tool Video (48 mins and 41 mins)
Grade Level Undergraduate, Graduate 
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras  
Hosted at NPTEL
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic


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