We will first trace the history of atmospheric optics from cradle to adolescence with emphasis on the contributions by Clebsch, Lorenz, Mie, Debye, and van de Hulst to the early development of the theory of light scattering by a sphere, and some newly developed light-scattering computational capabilities (e.g., the invariant embedding T-matrix method) for solving for the optical properties of nonspherical and inhomogeneous particles. We will illustrate the applications of light scattering research to remote sensing implementations involving dust aerosol, aviation-induced contrails, and natural ice clouds with emphasis on achieving spectral consistency between day-time ice cloud property retrieval based on the well-known Nakajima-King algorithm and the counterpart from the infrared split-window technique. Furthermore, we will illustrate the importance of an appropriate parameterization of ice cloud radiative properties in general circulation models (GCMs).
We will next trace the history of radiative transfer showing the work of the early “Giants” in the field such as Schuster, Chandrasekhar, Ambarzumian, and Sobolev, to mention just a few. Especially, we will review Chandrasekhar’s academic career and tremendous achievements.
This talk is intended for a general audience and will be understandable to undergraduate students.