Atmospheric and Marine Optics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


Give advanced knowledge and skills in atmospheric and marine optics.


The course covers emission, absorption, scattering, and transport of electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere and ocean. These optical processes are studied for frequencies ranging from infrared, through the visible, and into the ultraviolet. Further, the course contains topics such as blackbody radiation; emissivity; coherent versus incoherent radiation; interference; irradiance and radiance; multiple scattering; radiative transfer with multi-stream theory and Monte Carlo methods; polarization; and optical phenomena seen in nature. Physical foundations are given accompanied with applications in meteorology, climatology, solar energy harnessing, ocean color radiometry, and marine primary production.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes


The student has

  • advanced knowledge in atmospheric and marine optics at the graduate level


The student can

  • explain fundamental principles behind emission, absorption, scattering, and transport of radiation in the atmosphere and ocean
  • develop methods that solve the radiative transfer equation in order to obtain solar radiation energy, remote sensing signals, biological active radiation, etc
  • assess the effect different greenhouse gases and surface brightness has on the atmospheric temperature
  • explain the physics behind optical phenomena common to the atmosphere and ocean, such as halos, mirages, green flash, red sunset, blue twilight sky, as well as the blue and green color on oceans and icebergs

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Minimum 60 ECTS in physics
Recommended Previous Knowledge
PHYS112 or corresponding basic knowledge of electromagnetism
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Teaching and learning methods
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:

  • Written examination
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Department of Physics and Technology has the responsibility for the course and study programme.