Chapter 2. Basic Theory of Radiation Fields

  1. George B. Rybicki and
  2. Alan P. Lightman

Published Online: 29 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9783527618170.ch2

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics

How to Cite

Rybicki, G. B. and Lightman, A. P. (1985) Basic Theory of Radiation Fields, in Radiative Processes in Astrophysics, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527618170.ch2

Author Information

  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 DEC 2007
  2. Published Print: 15 MAY 1985

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471827597

Online ISBN: 9783527618170



  • Gaussian units;
  • Maxwell's equations;
  • energy density;
  • energy flux;
  • Poynting's theorem


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Review of Maxwell's Equations

  • Plane Electromagnetic Waves

  • The Radiation Spectrum

  • Polarization and Stokes Parameters

  • Electromagnetic Potentials

  • Applicability of Transfer Theory and the Geometrical Optics Limit