Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

This course investigates the principles of thermal radiation and their application to engineering heat and photon transfer problems.

Topics include:

  • Quantum and Classical Models of Radiative Properties of Materials
  • Electromagnetic Wave Theory for Thermal Radiation
  • Radiative Transfer in Absorbing, Emitting, and Scattering Media
  • Coherent Laser Radiation
  • Applications:
    • Laser-material Interactions
    • Imaging
    • Infrared Instrumentation
    • Global Warming
    • Semiconductor Manufacturing
    • Combustion
    • Furnaces
    • High Temperature Processing


Buy at Amazon Modest, Michael F. Radiative Heat Transfer. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Academic Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780125031639.


Intermediate Heat and Mass Transfer (2.51), or Transport Processes (10.302).

Problem Sets

Problem sets are due once every two weeks.


There are two exams, which are each worth 20% of the final grade. The first is in-class and open-book. The second is a take-home test.

Grading Policy

Activities Percentages
Problem Sets 50%
Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 20%
Classroom Presentation and Discussion on Global Warming 10%