Radiation sources

  • Joseph Caniou


The emission of an electromagnetic wave by gases, liquids or solids is caused by the transformation of energy within matter. The origins of the phenomena are:
  • thermal radiation (or incandescence) associated with the thermal movement of particles (atoms, molecules, ions) and, by definition, is only dependent on the temperature;

  • luminescence for all other causes other than those associated with a thermal state. The mechanisms for these are varied, noting in particular: triboluminescence of mechanical origin, chemiluminescence with a chemical origin, electroluminescence with electrical origin, cathodoluminescence produced by the impact of electrons on a target, bioluminescence of organic origin, radioluminescence observed after the absorption of α or β particles and photoluminescence after photon absorption... Depending on the time constant, we distinguish between fluorescence and phosphorescence: in the former case the emission follows immediately after the excitation (τ < 10 ns) and in the latter case, it is delayed and lasts longer.


Thermal Radiation Spectral Radiance Spectral Average Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Average Spectral Emissivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Caniou
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d’Electronique de l’Armement (CELAR)DGABruzFrance

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