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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 13, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 1974
  • pp: 2160–2163

Rayleigh, the Unit for Light Radiance

Doran J. Baker  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 13, Issue 9, pp. 2160-2163 (1974)

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A 0.7% accurate formula is derived for the easy conversion of power spectral radiance Lλ in W cm−2 sr−1μm−1 to rayleigh spectral radiance Rλ in rayleigh/μm, Rλ = 2πλLλ × 1013, where the wavelength λ is in μm. The rationale for the rayleigh unit is discussed in terms of a photon rate factor and a solid angle factor. The latter is developed in terms of an equivalence theorem about optical receivers and extended sources, and the concept is extended to the computation of photon volume emission rates from altitude profiles of zenith radiance.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: April 8, 1974
Published: September 1, 1974

Doran J. Baker, "Rayleigh, the Unit for Light Radiance," Appl. Opt. 13, 2160-2163 (1974)

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  1. Rayleigh, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A129, 458 (1930).
  2. D. M. Hunten, F. E. Roach, J. W. Chamberlain, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 8, 345 (1956). [CrossRef]
  3. J. W. Chamberlain, Physics of the Aurora and Airglow (Academic Press, New York, 1961), p. 569.
  4. A. T. Stair, D. J. Baker, C. L. Wyatt, K. D. Baker, J. C. Ulwick, Geophys. Res. Lett. 1, July (1974). [CrossRef]
  5. D. R. Weast, Ed. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (CRC Publishing Co., Cleveland, 1973), pp. F-91 and F-195.

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