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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3535 Atmospheric Physics

10 creditsClass Size: 100

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

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

A level in Physics.

Pre-requisites

SOEE1540Phys for Environmental Science

Module replaces

SOEE2530 Atmospheric Physics

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides a solid foundation in the physical processes that govern the structure and behaviour of Earth's atmosphere. The module covers the basic physics necessary to understand temperature variations in the atmosphere, aerosol and cloud formation, solar and terrestrial radiation, the greenhouse effect and optical effects in the atmosphere. This is a quantitative module designed to provide students with problem-solving skills. 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 throughout 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.

Objectives

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 the atmosphere, atmospheric phase changes of water, aerosol growth, cloud formation, the behaviour of light in the atmosphere, and the effects of greenhouse gases and aerosols in climate change. 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.

Learning outcomes
1. Understand the physical processes that govern the structure and behaviour of Earth's atmosphere.
2. Explain phenomena in the atmosphere in terms of physical processes
3. Perform quantitative calculations describing physical processes in the atmosphere
4. Develop skills in reporting scientific findings in a concise and accurate manner
5. Solve scientific problems and present answers in the form of equations, graphs and written descriptions


Syllabus

- Basic structure and composition of the atmosphere
- Motion of molecules, gas diffusion and collision with particles
- Thermodynamics of the atmosphere and atmospheric temperature structure
- Atmospheric water and phase diagrams
- Evaporation and condensation of water to form water and ice clouds.
- Aerosol particles and formation of cloud droplets
- Nucleation of ice particles.
- Solar and terrestrial radiation
- Transmission and absorption in the atmosphere
- Light scattering by aerosols and clouds
- Radiative effects of atmospheric aerosols and clouds (climate effects).
- Atmospheric optical phenomena

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture111.0011.00
Tutorial111.0011.00
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly question sheets requiring private study. Students submit answers through Tophat and get feedback (correct/incorrect and opportunity to resubmit). We provide written feedback on a selection of their written answers to improve the structure and layout of their answers and to correct errors. A dedicated feedback session (1 hour/week) involves going through all questions and highlighting common problems.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer Exercise100030.00
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) (S1)1 hr 70.00
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: 09/07/2021 15:02:05

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