Radiative transfer in environmental sciences

Number of credits: 2.

 Team taught by:

Emmanuel Boss


Tel: 08-934-3766

Eyal Rotenberg


Tel: 08-934-4227

Meeting time: Tue. 11am-1pm.

Course material and syllabus


This class is intended to provide the basic concepts associated with radiative transfer on the Earth. Solar radiative energy is the primary source of energy providing for life on Earth as well as forcing winds and ocean currents. Understanding its fate and distribution is key to understand both physical and ecological processes on Earth. Radiation transfer is a wide branch of physics that studies the propagation of electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with matter. Its equations, vocabulary and concepts are the tools we need to learn in order to address relevant environmental processes. Besides lectures and discussions the class will involve demonstrations, labs and computer exercises to provide hands-on experience, and enhance learning.


Grading in the class will be based on class participation (20%), assignments (40%) and a project (40%). Late assignment will suffer an automatic 10% decrease in grade. Students can and are encouraged to work together on assignments but will need to submit individual solutions in their own words. The term project will involve the application of materials learned in class to a problem chosen by each student in consultation with the lecturers. Group projects are possible but will be expected to have a larger scope than individual ones and detailed individual contribution will need to be described (e.g. who is the primary person to 'blame' for specific parts of the project).