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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2530 Atmospheric Physics

10 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Prof Ken Carslaw
Email: k.s.carslaw@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

Pre-requisite qualifications

60% or more in SOEE1540 or A Level Physics

Pre-requisites

SOEE1540Phys for Environmental Science

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

You will gain a solid foundation in the physical processes that govern the structure and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere. By the end of this module you will have an understanding of the thermodynamics of ideal gases, atmospheric phase changes of water, aerosol growth, cloud formation, the behaviour of light in the atmosphere, the effects of aerosols in climate and atmospheric electricity.An emphasis is put on the understanding of natural phenomena in terms of basic physics and applications of basic physics to real problems is stressed at all points. This module is taught in semester 2 and is assessed by a one and a half hour examination.

Objectives

On completion of this module students will have a solid foundation in the physical processes that govern the structure and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere. They will have an understanding of the thermodynamics of ideal gases, atmospheric phase changes of water, aerosol growth, cloud formation, the behaviour of light in the atmosphere, the effects of aerosols on climate and atmospheric electricity (lightning generation).

An emphasis is put on the understanding of natural phenomena in terms of basic physics and applications of basic physics to real problems is stressed at all points in the module.

Students will exercise their knowledge through a series of numerical, descriptive and graphical problems. Students will also develop skills in reporting scientific findings in a concise and accurate manner through computer project reports.

Syllabus

- Basic structure and composition of the hydrosphere (including hydrostatic equilibrium and stability).
- Kinetic theory and molecular velocities.
- Transport properties of gases (including diffusion).
- Basic thermodynamics of air.
- Atmospheric thermodynamics.
- Atmospheric water and phase diagrams.
- Evaporation and condensation of water (including cloud formation).
- Aerosols and clouds.
- Nucleation of ice particles.
- Thermal radiation.
- Radiative transfer in the atmosphere.
- Light scattering by aerosols and clouds.
- Radiative effects of atmospheric aerosols and clouds (climate effects).
- Atmospheric optical phenomena.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lectures191.0019.00
Private study hours81.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- 33 hours: 3 hour reading/problem solving per lecture
- 12 hours: computer practical
- 36 hours: revision prior to exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Questions for understanding of each lecture/topic; weekly problem classes and feedback; marking and return of problem sheets; VLE based formative assessment.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer ExerciseComputer Practical30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/02/2017

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