Abstract

General formulas for the absorption, emission, and radiative equilibrium temperature of arbitrary absorbers are derived and in particular those of slabs and spheres in atmospheric long-wave radiation fields. The behavior of all nongaseous absorbers in these radiation fields is shown to be rather similar and similar again to that of a black sphere. The optical behavior of moist air, on the other hand, is shown to be completely different because of its great transparency in the “window” wavelengths.

Radiation instruments of the “blackball” type can therefore neither be used for the measurement of the radiative equilibrium temperature of air nor for the divergence of the atmospheric long-wave flux.

© 1960 Optical Society of America

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