AOSC 620


Text: A Short Course in Cloud Physics, Third Edition, by R.R. Rogers and M.K. Yau
(Pergamon Press, Elmsford, N.Y.), 1989.

Recommended: Chemistry of the Upper and Lower Atmosphere, Finlayson-Pitts and Pitts, 2000.

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Seinfeld and Pandis, 2006.

Professor Russell Dickerson
Room 2413, Computer & Space Sciences Building
Phone(301) 405-5364,



Course Outline FALL 2013

I. Atmospheric Thermodynamics
II. Chemical Thermodynamics
III. Stability and Convection
IV. Reactive Nitrogen
V. Mixing and convection
VI. Kinetics and Steady State
VII. Atmos. Layers, Photochem, & Ozone
VIII. Aerosol Phys and Chem
IX. Clouds, Precip & Radar

R&Y Chapters 1-2
Outside Readings
R&Y Chapters 3-4
F&P Chapter 7
R&Y Chapt 4&5

F&P Chapt. 3-5
F&P Chapts 6&12
R&Y Chapts 6; F&P Chapt 9
R&Y Chapt 7-12

2 classes
2 classes
4 classes
1 classes
4 classes

3 classes
4 classes
1 classes
7 classes

Lecture Notes
Caveat: For your convenience only - I reserve the right to update the lectures until they are delivered!
For the first day of class, please bring a thermometer and read Rogers and Yau Chapter 1

Lecture 1, Thermodynamics of Dry Air

Lecture 2, Thermody of Moist air (2013)

Lecture 3, Chem Thermo

Lecture 4, Chem Thermo & CC Eq

Lecture 4b, Fracking

Lecture 4B, Thermodiagrams

Lecture 5A, Saturated Temp Dfn's 2013

Lecture 5B, Parcel Stability (2013)

Lecture 6, Mixing & Convection

Lecture 7, Dry Parcel Theory

Lecture 8, Wet Parcel Theory

Lecture 9, Slice Method

Lecture 10, Bubble Theory

Lecture 10B, Tropospheric Ozone

Lecture 11, Intro to Kinetics

Lecture 12, Kinetics II

Lecture 12b, Kinetics III

Lecture 13, Steady State Analysis

Midterm Exam (downloadable example from 2009)

Lecture 14, Spectroscopy and Photochemistry

Lecture 14b, Spectroscopy and Photochemistry II

Lecture 15, Layers in the Atmosphere, Ozone (Moved to AOSC 621)

Lecture 16, The Ozone Hole

Lecture 17, Nitrous Oxide, N2O

Lecture 18, Tropospheric Aerosols

Lecture 19, Reactive Nitrogen

Lecture 19b, Reactive Nitrogen Galloway (Optional)

Lecture 20, Cloud Properties

Lecture 21, Cloud Nucleation

Lecture 22, Droplet Growth

Lecture 23, Population Growth (Moved to AOSC 621)

Lecture 24, Ice and Snow

Lecture 25, Radar Operations (theory moved to AOSC 621)

Lecture 26, Cloud Resolving Models

Regular Examination Dates: October 15, November 26, 2013.

Term Paper Due: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Final Examination 2013: Wednesday, December 18, 400p.m. - 600p.m.

Course grade will be determined by:

Final Exam
Term Paper



*For the first day of class: bring a thermometer, and read Chapter 1 in Rogers & Yau. 

Due 9/17/13 HW #1 problems 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, and repeat 1.1 for the atmosphere of another planet or moon.

Due 10/1/13 HW #2 problems 2.2, 2.4 (or 2.5); for 2.4 you may use a skew T diagram to estimate the constant and n to test for consistency. For the combustion of propane, C3H8, calculate the enthalpy of combustion, and the Gibbs free energy and entropy of the reaction at room temperature. What would be the equilibrium constant for this reaction if it were reversible?

Due 10/15/13 HW #3 R&Y Problems 3.1 & 4.3

Due 10/17/13 Outline and Bibliography for Term Paper Due.

Due 10/31/13 HW #4 Rogers and Yau Problems 4.5, and 4.6
HW3 photolysis See Finlayson and Pitts or the JPL compendium (below) for cross sections and quantum yields.

Due 11/14/13 HW #5 Rogers and Yau Problems 6.4, 6.5, 9.1; Wallace and Hobbs 5.18, 6.13

Lecture/Seminar on Soot

Old Final Exam

Nice Henry's Law Page from MPI

Chemical Kinetics and Photochemical Data for Use in Atmospheric Studies from NASA/JPL

Ozone Criteria Document from EPA

2002 August 15 00Z sounding doc

2002 August 15 00Z sounding image

Prepared by Russell Dickerson & Z. Li (, ) - Last updated on September10, 2013