**Radiometry** *(various notes during some ray-tracing work)* $$ \newcommand \diff{\mathop{}\!\mathrm{\,d}} \newcommand \Diff[1]{\mathop{}\!\mathrm{d^#1}} $$ There are four quantities from radiometry we typically work with in ray tracing. These are flux, irradiance/radiant exitance, intensity, and radiance. Energy, carried by photons, is measured in Joules. Flux, also called power, is the total amount of energy passing through a region or a surface per unit time, and is defined as the limit as $\Delta t \to 0$ of $\Delta Q/\Delta t$. Given a finite area $A$, the average density of power over the area is $$ E = \frac{\Phi}{A} $$ Depending on which direction this energy is going, it's called either irradiance (E) or radiant exitance (M). Taking the limit of differential power per differential area at a point p we get $$ E(p) = \lim_{\Delta A \to 0} \frac{\Delta \Phi (p)}{\Delta A} = \frac{\diff \Phi (p)}{\diff A} $$ Of course we can integrate the irradiance to get back to power: $$ \Phi = \int_{A} E(p) \diff A $$ Intensity describes angular density of power, and it's described by $$ I = \lim_{\Delta \omega \to 0} \frac{\Delta \Phi}{\Delta \omega} = \frac{\diff \Phi}{\diff \omega} $$ and just like before, we can reverse this to get power: $$ \Phi = \int_{\Omega} I(\omega) \diff \omega $$ Note that, in the case of irradiance/radiant exitance we're limiting the power to a differential area. For intensity, we limit to a differential solid angle. For the final quantity, radiance, we limit using both. Irradiance and radiant exitance give us differential power per differential area at a point p, but they don't distinguish the directional distribution of power. Radiance measures irradiance/radiant exitance with respect to a solid angle. Integrate radiance to get the irradiance. The biggest advantage so far of being able to interpret integrals is so you have a precise understanding of what we're summing up. You don't have to actually be a bad-ass at solving integrals (although that doesn't hurt). You just need to be able to understand the concept they are communicating.