Chapter 9. Thermal Radiation

  1. Maarten H. P. Ambaum

Published Online: 16 APR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470710364.ch9

Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere

Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere

How to Cite

Ambaum, M. H. P. (2010) Thermal Radiation, in Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470710364.ch9

Author Information

  1. Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 APR 2010
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470745151

Online ISBN: 9780470710364



  • thermal radiation - electromagnetic radiation by virtue of body's temperature;
  • thermal radiation and Kirchhoff's law;
  • Stefan–Boltzmann and Wien displacement laws;
  • global energy budget and greenhouse effect;
  • radiative intensity and radative transfer;
  • radiative–convective equilibrium;
  • photon gas thermodynamics;
  • Planck law - derivation


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Thermal radiation and Kirchhoff's law

  • The Stefan–Boltzmann and Wien displacement laws

  • Global energy budget and the greenhouse effect

  • Horizontal variations

  • Radiative intensity

  • Radiative transfer

  • Radiative-convective equilibrium

  • Thermodynamics of a photon gas

  • Derivation of the Planck law

  • Problems