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Radiometric

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Radiometric

In optics, radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring electromagnetic radiation, including visible light. Radiometric techniques characterize the distribution of the radiation's power in space, as opposed to photometric techniques, which characterize the light's interaction with the human eye. Radiometry is distinct from quantum techniques such as photon counting.

Radiometry is important in astronomy, especially radio astronomy, and plays a significant role in Earth remote sensing. The measurement techniques categorized as radiometry in optics are called photometry in some astronomical applications, contrary to the optics usage of the term.

Spectroradiometry is the measurement of absolute radiometric quantities in narrow bands of wavelength.[1]

SI radiometry units

Quantity Unit Dimension Notes
Name Symbol[nb 1] Name Symbol Symbol
Radiant energy Qe[nb 2] joule J M⋅L2⋅T−2 energy
Radiant flux Φe[nb 2] watt W M⋅L2⋅T−3 radiant energy per unit time, also called radiant power.
Spectral power Φ[nb 2][nb 3] watt per metre W⋅m−1 M⋅L⋅T−3 radiant power per wavelength.
Radiant intensity Ie watt per steradian W⋅sr−1 M⋅L2⋅T−3 power per unit solid angle.
Spectral intensity I[nb 3] watt per steradian per metre W⋅sr−1⋅m−1 M⋅L⋅T−3 radiant intensity per wavelength.
Radiance Le watt per steradian per square metre W⋅sr−1m−2 M⋅T−3 power per unit solid angle per unit projected source area.

confusingly called "intensity" in some other fields of study.

Spectral radiance L[nb 3]
or
L[nb 4]
watt per steradian per metre3
or

watt per steradian per square
metre per hertz

W⋅sr−1m−3
or
W⋅sr−1⋅m−2Hz−1
M⋅L−1⋅T−3
or
M⋅T−2
commonly measured in W⋅sr−1⋅m−2⋅nm−1 with surface area and either wavelength or frequency.


Irradiance Ee[nb 2] watt per square metre W⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 power incident on a surface, also called radiant flux density.

sometimes confusingly called "intensity" as well.

Spectral irradiance E[nb 3]
or
E[nb 4]
watt per metre3
or
watt per square metre per hertz
W⋅m−3
or
W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1
M⋅L−1⋅T−3
or
M⋅T−2
commonly measured in W⋅m−2nm−1
or 10−22W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1, known as solar flux unit.[nb 5]


Radiant exitance /
Radiant emittance
Me[nb 2] watt per square metre W⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 power emitted from a surface.
Spectral radiant exitance /
Spectral radiant emittance
M[nb 3]
or
M[nb 4]
watt per metre3
or

watt per square
metre per hertz

W⋅m−3
or
W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1
M⋅L−1⋅T−3
or
M⋅T−2
power emitted from a surface per unit wavelength or frequency.


Radiosity Je watt per square metre W⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 emitted plus reflected power leaving a surface.
Spectral radiosity J[nb 3] watt per metre3 W⋅m−3 M⋅L−1⋅T−3 emitted plus reflected power leaving a surface per unit wavelength
Radiant exposure He joule per square metre J⋅m−2 M⋅T−2 also referred to as fluence
Radiant energy density ωe joule per metre3 J⋅m−3 M⋅L−1⋅T−2
See also: SI · Radiometry · Photometry

See also

References

External links

  • Radiometry and photometry FAQ Professor Jim Palmer's Radiometry FAQ page (The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences).
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