Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How much first-principle physics do we need in remote-sensing and atmospheric-radiation research?

Dr. Michael I. Mishchenko: "Probably few would openly question the importance of fundamental physics to the disciplines of remote sensing and atmospheric radiation. However, my physics training at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology has often caused me to be skeptical in the face of the widespread complacent conviction that all the requisite first-principle physics is already at work. This skepticism has shaped my contributions to the disciplines of electromagnetic scattering, radiative transfer, and remote sensing which have found widespread use. It has also solidified my belief that decisive progress in remote-sensing and atmospheric-radiation research is problematic without recognizing that these disciplines are still heavily based on centuries-old phenomenological concepts."

Dr. Michael I. Mishchenko, Senior Scientist, NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies)