Video Lecture: Radiative Transfer

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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 discusses 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 the tool

Tool NameLecture – 35 and 36: Radiative Transfer Equation – Derivation
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Radiative Transfer, Radiative Transfer Equation, Absorption Coefficient, Beer-Lambert’s law,  Schwarzschild’s Equation
Climate TopicPlanetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance; Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (50 mins and 42 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (
LinkLink 1 , Link 2
Computer SkillsBasic
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