Luminous Intensity is a measure of the wavelength-weighted power radiated by a light source in a particular direction per unit solid angle. It is based on the luminosity function, a standard model of the sensitivity of the human eye. The SI unit of luminous intensity is the candela or cd, it is an SI base unit.
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In this article, we will learn about the following topics in detail:
luminous intensity meaning
The unit of luminous intensity
Luminous intensity definition
SI unit of luminous flux
Luminous intensity is an expression that describes the amount of light power emitting from a point source within a solid angle of one steradian.
For instance, a frequency of 540 terahertz, i.e., 540 THz or 5.40 x 1014Hz is specified. Here, A frequency of 540 THz corresponds to a wavelength of about 555 nanometers (nm), which is in the middle of the visible light spectrum and is usually accepted and the human eye is sensitive to this wavelength.
The quantities employed to express luminous intensity are obvious to most non-scientists.
A steradian is the standard unit of the solid angle; a sphere encloses 4 p, which is approximately equal to 12.57 steradians.
Luminous intensity can be used as a factor to determine the quantify the power emitted by any light source in a particular direction for a given unit solid angle. The luminosity function provides a standardized model to determine the sensitivity level of the human eye. In the SI unit system, luminous intensity is represented as candela (cd). It is defined as the quantity of visible light that is emitted by a source in a unit time per unit solid angle. Lumens are used to characterize the luminous flux from power a source at any second. The lumens value mentioned is used as a reference to visual sensation to light.
Unit of Light Intensity
Luminous intensity is symbolized as LV. I the SI system, the unit of luminous intensity is Candela or Cd; however, we have two more units of luminous intensity; these are as follows:
Luminous Intensity Definition
For understanding the luminous intensity definition; let’s look at the history of luminous intensity:
Decades ago, the luminous intensity was measured in the form of a unit called the candle. This expression came from the fact that one candle represented on average the amount of visible radiation emitted by a candle flame.
This was an inexact description because burning candles vary in brightness. So, for a time, a specified amount of radiation from the element, say, platinum at its freezing temperature was used as the standard.
Then in the late 20th century, the candela was introduced and this unit was adopted as the standard unit of luminous intensity.
One candela or 1 cd is the magnitude of an electromagnetic field or EM-field in a certain direction that has a power level equivalent to a visible-light field of 1/683 watt 1.46 x 10⁻³ Watt per steradian at 540 THz.
Here, we also discussed the luminous flux. So, luminous flux is the amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by any source. The SI unit of luminous flux is Lumen.
The luminous flux tells us how much light is emitted by any light-emitting source. This refers to lights in a visible band emitted by the LED lamp in all directions. The physical unit for the luminous flux is called lumen and an acronym for lm. With the old light-emitting sources, the brightness/sharpness could be compared well on the basis of the wattage.
Unit of Luminous Intensity
The SI unit of luminous flux is the lumen or simply lm.
Till 19 May 2019, we used to define one lumen as the luminous flux of light produced by a light source that emits one candela of luminous intensity over a solid angle of one steradian.
Then on 20 May 2019, the lumen was defined by fixing the luminous efficacy of monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 × 1012 Hz (green light) to be 683 lm W-1.
In other systems of units, luminous flux also has units of power.
Luminous in Photometry
In photometry, luminous flux or luminous power is the measure of the received power of light. It varies from the radiant flux, i.e., the measure of the total power of electromagnetic radiation including infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV), and visible light, in that case, luminous flux is adjusted to reflect/emit the varying sensitivity of the human eye to varying wavelengths of light.
The luminous flux takes into account the sensitivity of the eye by weighting the power at each wavelength with the luminosity function, which represents the response of the eye to different wavelengths.
The luminous flux is a weighted total of the power at all wavelengths coming in the visible band. The light outside the visible band does not contribute to brightness. So, the ratio of the total luminous flux to the radiant flux is known as the luminous efficacy.
Physics and Its Importance
Physics plays a vital role by being a branch of science that deals with the structure of matter that helps in studying various things and how they actually work and thereby finding out how these fundamental constituents interact with various elements in the universe. It starts from the study of objects starting from the very small ones using quantum physics to the entire universe using the various general theory of relativity. It is indeed these physical processes and phenomena of a given system based on the physical characteristics, the composition of any matter that is found.
Physics plays a vital role in acting as an international enterprise, which plays a key role in the progression of humankind in a futuristic way by studying how the various components and elements of the universe actually function and interact with each other and various systems. This important aspect of Physics plays a vital role in ensuring that it adds valuable contributions to the technological infrastructure and provides trained professionals and profound scientists to the universe, necessary to create significant scientific advances and help us discover our future with a noble mission to ensure that the earth is transformed into a better place to live in.