This text presents the basis of atmospheric radiative transfer for graduate students, as well as for scientists or engineers who want to start work in this domain. It supposes that the reader has reached a general college level in mathematics and physics.
The first part covers the theory of radiative energy transfer and is of interest for a larger audience than only the atmospheric scientists. After carefully defining the various quantities characterizing radiation energy and its interaction with matter, the equation of radiative transfer is established and the laws of blackbody emission reviewed. One chapter presents the detection of radiative energy. The next chapters review the problems of quantitative spectroscopy and the transfer of energy in an absorbing and emitting medium. Finally, the laws of scattering are presented and the transfer of radiation in a scattering medium, including polarization, is analyzed.