next up previous

3.2.1 Local Spherical System--Directional Distribution

A particle is emitted from a solid surface into the ``space'' or hemisphere above the surface. Locations on the hemisphere are characterized by solid angle. We introduce the concept by analogy to linear dimensions. Recall the definition of geometrical quantities as follows:

Table 4: Analogy of Angles to Lengths.

Referring to the Table 4 and Figure 7, a line is generated by sweeping a point linearly through space, and an area is generated by sweeping a line through space. Similarly as shown in Figure 7, an angle is generated by sweeping a line through an arc. A solid angle is generated by sweeping two ``orthogonal'' angles ( and ) through arcs.

Figure 7: Generating an Angle and a Solid Angle.