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Radiative Transfer


Two video lectures titled, ‘Radiative Transfer Equation’ 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 discuss how to calculate radiative transfer equation and further discuss its importance in atmospheric sciences, particularly in satellite remote sensing.

Students will learn about isotropic scattering, radiation derivative calculation, spectral emissivity and reflectivity, absorption coefficient, Beer-Lambert’s law, and Schwarzschild’s equation. They will also learn how to apply the radiative transfer equation to multispectral infrared sounder, infrared imager, microwave sounder, and microwave imager for satellite remote sensing and satellite meteorology.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Define the following:
    1. Radiative transfer
    2. Remote sensing
    3. Spectral emissivity
    4. Beer-Lambert’s law
  2. How can radiative transfer calculations be used for atmosphere remote sensing?
About Tool
Tool Name Lecture – 35 and 36: Radiative Transfer Equation – Derivation 
Discipline Physics, Earth Sciences 
Topic(s) in Discipline Climate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Radiative Transfer, Radiative Transfer Equation, Absorption Coefficient, Beer-Lambert’s law, Schwarzschild’s Equation, Atmosphere
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance, Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of tool Video (50 mins and 42 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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