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Definition

radiant intensity

Radiant intensity is a quantitative expression of the brilliance of a source of electromagnetic (EM) energy over the entire electromagnetic spectrum . This quantity is measured in terms of the power emitted per unit solid angle from an isotropic radiator, a theoretical point source that radiates equally in all directions in three-dimensional space.

The standard unit of radiant intensity is the watt per steradian (W/sr or W ? sr -1 ). For a theoretical point source, 1 W/sr is equivalent to 4 p (approximately 12.5664) W of total radiated power at all wavelengths.

Compare luminous flux . Also see electromagnetic field , watt per steradian , International System of Units ( SI ), and Table of Physical Units .

This was last updated in September 2005

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