I have collected a list of books and publications which have helped me to understand the ideas behind the algorithms described here. These books and publications cover different ray tracing topics in much more detail than I did on this website. The list is not complete but it contains books that I can recommend. For instance, I have gained almost all my knowledge about the implementation of photon mapping by reading Jensen's book.
The publications listed on this page did I find in the internet. Since it is a very fast changing media I avoided to set links to specific download sources. Most of the publications can be found by using search engines. So, just try it out.
This book is not only for studying computer graphics, it is a kind of encyclopaedia. It explains many algorithms, the concepts behind and its history very detailed. Even though the book title lets assume that the book is filled with source code snippets in C it contains clear and concise pseudo code. The authors leave the implementation up to the reader, but it let you better understand the underlying principles of the algorithms.
I found this book in a library and it seemed to be out of date. But nevertheless it explains the basics of ray tracing so thoroughly that it is a great introductory text and books written later list it often in the section of references.
If I didn't know how to solve particular problems this book was a great help for me. Since the authors present the mathematical founding for different ray tracing topics (i.e. reflection, refraction, anti-aliasing, depth of field) very clearly.
This is a good book when beginning to write a ray tracer. The authors explain the most complex tasks in a simple way. You don't need to be a PhD researcher or an advanced mathematician to understand this book.
Hall, R., Illumination and Color in Computer Generated Imagery, New York, NY, USA, 1989
This book explains the illumination process and the perceptual response in every detail. It follows a description of illumination models and shading techniques taking into account that the material's optical properties are wavelength-dependent. Spectral sampling approaches as well as algorithms for color space transformations are also contained in this book.
Akine-Möller, Tomas; Fast 3D Triangle-Box Overlap Test, Göteborg, Sweden, 2001 Greve, B. de; Reflections and Refractions in Ray Tracing, 2004 Guy, Stephane; Soler, Cyril; Graphics Gems Revisited - Fast and Physically-Based Rendering of Gemstones, GRAVIR,IMAG - INRIA Havran, Vlastimil; Heuristic Ray Shooting Algorithms, Prague, Czech Republic, 2000 Jensen, Henrik Wann; Marschner, Stephen R.; Levoy, Marc; Hanrahan, Pat; A Practical Model for Subsurface Light Transport, Stanford University, USA, 2001 Jensen, Henrik Wann; Suykens, Frank; Christensen, Per; Kato, Toshi; A Practical Guide to Global Illumination using Photon Mapping, SIGGRAPH'2002 Course 43, San Antonio, July 2002 Sun, Yinlong; Fracchia, F. David; Drew, Mark S.; Rendering Diamonds, Burnaby, BC, Canada, 2000 Süsstrunk, Sabine; Buckley, Robert; Swen, Steve; Standard RGB Color Space, 2005 Wald, Ingo; Realtime Ray Tracing and Interactive Global Illumination, SaarbrÃ¼cken, Germany, 2004 Wald, Ingo; Havran, Vlastimil; On building fast kd-Trees for Ray Tracing, and on doing that in O(N log N), 2006 Wilkie, Alexander; Tobler, Robert F.; Purgathofer, Werner; Raytracing of Dispersion Effects in Transparent Materials, Wien, Austria, 2000