Irradiance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Radiation flux)

In radiometry, irradiance is the radiant flux received by a surface per unit area. The SI unit of irradiance is the watt per square metre (W⋅m−2). The CGS unit erg per square centimetre per second (erg⋅cm−2⋅s−1) is often used in astronomy. Irradiance is often called intensity, but this term is avoided in radiometry where such usage leads to confusion with radiant intensity. In astrophysics, irradiance is called radiant flux.[1]

Spectral irradiance is the irradiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. The two forms have different dimensions and units: spectral irradiance of a frequency spectrum is measured in watts per square metre per hertz (W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1), while spectral irradiance of a wavelength spectrum is measured in watts per square metre per metre (W⋅m−3), or more commonly watts per square metre per nanometre (W⋅m−2⋅nm−1).

Mathematical definitions[edit]

Irradiance[edit]

Irradiance of a surface, denoted Ee ("e" for "energetic", to avoid confusion with photometric quantities), is defined as[2]

where

If we want to talk about the radiant flux emitted by a surface, we speak of radiant exitance.

Spectral irradiance[edit]

Spectral irradiance in frequency of a surface, denoted Ee,ν, is defined as[2]

where ν is the frequency.

Spectral irradiance in wavelength of a surface, denoted Ee,λ, is defined as[2]

where λ is the wavelength.

Property[edit]

Irradiance of a surface is also, according to the definition of radiant flux, equal to the time-average of the component of the Poynting vector perpendicular to the surface:

where

  • ⟨ • ⟩ is the time-average;
  • S is the Poynting vector;
  • α is the angle between a unit vector normal to the surface and S.

For a propagating sinusoidal linearly polarized electromagnetic plane wave, the Poynting vector always points to the direction of propagation while oscillating in magnitude. The irradiance of a surface is then given by[3]

where

This formula assumes that the magnetic susceptibility is negligible, i.e. that μr ≈ 1 where μr is the magnetic permeability of the propagation medium. This assumption is typically valid in transparent media in the optical frequency range.

Point source[edit]

A point source of light produces spherical wavefronts. The irradiance in this case varies inversely with the square of the distance from the source.

where

  • r is the distance;
  • P is the radiant power;
  • A is the surface area of a sphere of radius r.

For quick approximations, this equation indicates that doubling the distance reduces irradiation to one quarter; or similarly, to double irradiation, reduce the distance to 0.7. When it is not a point source, for real light sources, the irradiance profile may be obtained by the image convolution of a picture of the light source.[4]

Solar irradiance[edit]

The global irradiance on a horizontal surface on Earth consists of the direct irradiance Ee,dir and diffuse irradiance Ee,diff. On a tilted plane, there is another irradiance component, Ee,refl, which is the component that is reflected from the ground. The average ground reflection is about 20% of the global irradiance. Hence, the irradiance Ee on a tilted plane consists of three components:[5]

The integral of solar irradiance over a time period is called "solar exposure" or "insolation".[5][6]

SI radiometry units[edit]

Quantity Unit Dimension Notes
Name Symbol[nb 1] Name Symbol Symbol
Radiant energy Qe[nb 2] joule J ML2T−2 Energy of electromagnetic radiation.
Radiant energy density we joule per cubic metre J/m3 ML−1T−2 Radiant energy per unit volume.
Radiant flux Φe[nb 2] watt W = J/s ML2T−3 Radiant energy emitted, reflected, transmitted or received, per unit time. This is sometimes also called "radiant power", and called luminosity in Astronomy.
Spectral flux Φe,ν[nb 3] watt per hertz W/Hz ML2T−2 Radiant flux per unit frequency or wavelength. The latter is commonly measured in W⋅nm−1.
Φe,λ[nb 4] watt per metre W/m MLT−3
Radiant intensity Ie,Ω[nb 5] watt per steradian W/sr ML2T−3 Radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received, per unit solid angle. This is a directional quantity.
Spectral intensity Ie,Ω,ν[nb 3] watt per steradian per hertz W⋅sr−1⋅Hz−1 ML2T−2 Radiant intensity per unit frequency or wavelength. The latter is commonly measured in W⋅sr−1⋅nm−1. This is a directional quantity.
Ie,Ω,λ[nb 4] watt per steradian per metre W⋅sr−1⋅m−1 MLT−3
Radiance Le,Ω[nb 5] watt per steradian per square metre W⋅sr−1⋅m−2 MT−3 Radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received by a surface, per unit solid angle per unit projected area. This is a directional quantity. This is sometimes also confusingly called "intensity".
Spectral radiance
Specific intensity
Le,Ω,ν[nb 3] watt per steradian per square metre per hertz W⋅sr−1⋅m−2⋅Hz−1 MT−2 Radiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength. The latter is commonly measured in W⋅sr−1⋅m−2⋅nm−1. This is a directional quantity. This is sometimes also confusingly called "spectral intensity".
Le,Ω,λ[nb 4] watt per steradian per square metre, per metre W⋅sr−1⋅m−3 ML−1T−3
Irradiance
Flux density
Ee[nb 2] watt per square metre W/m2 MT−3 Radiant flux received by a surface per unit area. This is sometimes also confusingly called "intensity".
Spectral irradiance
Spectral flux density
Ee,ν[nb 3] watt per square metre per hertz W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1 MT−2 Irradiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength. This is sometimes also confusingly called "spectral intensity". Non-SI units of spectral flux density include jansky (1 Jy = 10−26 W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1) and solar flux unit (1 sfu = 10−22 W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1 = 104 Jy).
Ee,λ[nb 4] watt per square metre, per metre W/m3 ML−1T−3
Radiosity Je[nb 2] watt per square metre W/m2 MT−3 Radiant flux leaving (emitted, reflected and transmitted by) a surface per unit area. This is sometimes also confusingly called "intensity".
Spectral radiosity Je,ν[nb 3] watt per square metre per hertz W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1 MT−2 Radiosity of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength. The latter is commonly measured in W⋅m−2⋅nm−1. This is sometimes also confusingly called "spectral intensity".
Je,λ[nb 4] watt per square metre, per metre W/m3 ML−1T−3
Radiant exitance Me[nb 2] watt per square metre W/m2 MT−3 Radiant flux emitted by a surface per unit area. This is the emitted component of radiosity. "Radiant emittance" is an old term for this quantity. This is sometimes also confusingly called "intensity".
Spectral exitance Me,ν[nb 3] watt per square metre per hertz W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1 MT−2 Radiant exitance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength. The latter is commonly measured in W⋅m−2⋅nm−1. "Spectral emittance" is an old term for this quantity. This is sometimes also confusingly called "spectral intensity".
Me,λ[nb 4] watt per square metre, per metre W/m3 ML−1T−3
Radiant exposure He joule per square metre J/m2 MT−2 Radiant energy received by a surface per unit area, or equivalently irradiance of a surface integrated over time of irradiation. This is sometimes also called "radiant fluence".
Spectral exposure He,ν[nb 3] joule per square metre per hertz J⋅m−2⋅Hz−1 MT−1 Radiant exposure of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength. The latter is commonly measured in J⋅m−2⋅nm−1. This is sometimes also called "spectral fluence".
He,λ[nb 4] joule per square metre, per metre J/m3 ML−1T−2
See also: SI · Radiometry · Photometry
  1. ^ Standards organizations recommend that radiometric quantities should be denoted with suffix "e" (for "energetic") to avoid confusion with photometric or photon quantities.
  2. ^ a b c d e Alternative symbols sometimes seen: W or E for radiant energy, P or F for radiant flux, I for irradiance, W for radiant exitance.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Spectral quantities given per unit frequency are denoted with suffix "ν" (Greek letter nu, not to be confused with a letter "v", indicating a photometric quantity.)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Spectral quantities given per unit wavelength are denoted with suffix "λ".
  5. ^ a b Directional quantities are denoted with suffix "Ω".
Comparison of photometric and radiometric quantities

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carroll, Bradley W. (2017-09-07). An introduction to modern astrophysics. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-108-42216-1. OCLC 991641816.
  2. ^ a b c "Thermal insulation — Heat transfer by radiation — Physical quantities and definitions". ISO 9288:1989. ISO catalogue. 1989. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  3. ^ Griffiths, David J. (1999). Introduction to electrodynamics (3. ed., reprint. with corr. ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ [u.a.]: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-805326-X.
  4. ^ I. Moreno, P. X. Viveros-Méndez, "Modeling the irradiation pattern of LEDs at short distances," Opt. Express 29, 6845 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.419428
  5. ^ a b Quaschning, Volker (2003). "Technology fundamentals—The sun as an energy resource". Renewable Energy World. 6 (5): 90–93.
  6. ^ Liu, B. Y. H.; Jordan, R. C. (1960). "The interrelationship and characteristic distribution of direct, diffuse and total solar radiation". Solar Energy. 4 (3): 1. Bibcode:1960SoEn....4....1L. doi:10.1016/0038-092X(60)90062-1.