While propagating through a medium the electromagnetic radiation changes due to emission, absorption, scattering, and nonlinear wave transformations; thus, the radiation intensity, spectral distribution, polarization, and directivity can all vary in space and time. The theory of radiation transfer represents a broad field of the physics with numerous astrophysical applications (Chandrasekhar 1961;Mihalas 1978;Dolginov etal.1979;Ginzburg 1987; Nagirner 2007a), including radiation transfer in stellar interiors, Faraday rotation in intergalactic and interstellar media, group delay in solar corona, and many more. This chapter considers the most fundamental elements of the radiation transfer theory and gives a few examples of its application to the space plasma.
KeywordsBrightness Temperature Radio Emission Plasma Wave Faraday Rotation Stokes Parameter
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