# Photometry (optics) - Photometric Quantities - Photometric Versus Radiometric Quantities

There are two parallel systems of quantities known as photometric and radiometric quantities. Every quantity in one system has an analogous quantity in the other system. Some examples of parallel quantities include:

In photometric quantities every wavelength is weighted according to how sensitive the human eye is to it, while radiometric quantities use unweighted absolute power. For example, the eye responds much more strongly to green light than to red, so a green source will have greater luminous flux than a red source with the same radiant flux would. Radiant energy outside the visible spectrum does not contribute to photometric quantities at all, so for example a 1000 watt space heater may put out a great deal of radiant flux (1000 watts, in fact), but as a light source it puts out very few lumens (because most of the energy is in the infrared, leaving only a dim red glow in the visible).

• v
• t
• e
Quantity Symbol SI unit Symbol Dimension Notes
Radiant energy Qe joule J M⋅L2⋅T−2 energy
Spectral power Φ watt per metre W⋅m−1 M⋅L⋅T−3 radiant power per wavelength.
Radiant intensity Ie watt per steradian W⋅sr−1 M⋅L2⋅T−3 power per unit solid angle.
Spectral intensity I watt per steradian per metre W⋅sr−1⋅m−1 M⋅L⋅T−3 radiant intensity per wavelength.
Radiance Le watt per steradian per square metre W⋅sr−1⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 power per unit solid angle per unit projected source area.

confusingly called "intensity" in some other fields of study.

or
L
or

metre per hertz

W⋅sr−1⋅m−3
or
W⋅sr−1⋅m−2⋅Hz−1
M⋅L−1⋅T−3
or
M⋅T−2
commonly measured in W⋅sr−1⋅m−2⋅nm−1 with surface area and either wavelength or frequency.

Irradiance Ee watt per square metre W⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 power incident on a surface, also called radiant flux density.

sometimes confusingly called "intensity" as well.

or
E
watt per metre3
or
watt per square metre per hertz
W⋅m−3
or
W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1
M⋅L−1⋅T−3
or
M⋅T−2
commonly measured in W⋅m−2⋅nm−1
or 10−22W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1, known as solar flux unit.

Me watt per square metre W⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 power emitted from a surface.
M
or
M
watt per metre3
or

watt per square
metre per hertz

W⋅m−3
or
W⋅m−2⋅Hz−1
M⋅L−1⋅T−3
or
M⋅T−2
power emitted from a surface per wavelength or frequency.

Radiosity Je or J watt per square metre W⋅m−2 M⋅T−3 emitted plus reflected power leaving a surface.
Radiant exposure He joule per square metre J⋅m−2 M⋅T−2
Radiant energy density ωe joule per metre3 J⋅m−3 M⋅L−1⋅T−2