"Radiative Transfer is the definitive work in the field. It provides workers and students in physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, and atmospheric studies with the foundation for the analysis of stellar atmospheres, planetary illumination, and sky radiation. Though radiative transfer has been investigated chiefly as a phenomenon of astrophysics, in recent years it has attracted the attentions of physicists as well, since essentially the same problems arise in the theory of diffusion of neutrons." -- Morton D. Hall, Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago
Chandrasekhar presents the subject of radiative transfer in plane-parallel atmosphere as a branch of mathematical physics, with its own characteristic methods and techniques. He begins with a formulation and analysis of fundamental problems. It is shown how allowance can be made for the polarization of the radiation field by using a set of parameters first introduced by Stokes. Successive chapters deal with transfer problems in semi-infinite and finite atmosphere; Rayleigh scattering; the radiative equilibrium of a stellar atmosphere; and related astrophysical and mathematical problems. The mathematical methods employed are extremely powerful, and by means of them it has been possible to handle problems which could not be treated previously, such as the scattering of polarized light.
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