AOSC431 Atmospheric Physics and Thermodynamics
Tu-Th 9:30 - 10:45 am, Room: Atlantic 2416    Credits: 3 
Prof. Ning Zeng, Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
and the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
Course web: http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~zeng/AOSC431

cloud

Outline and schedule
Textbook, grading, office hours
Key concepts by chapter
Lecture notes

Outline
The general character of the atmosphere and its weather and climate systems, phenomena and distributions of variables (winds, temperature, pressure and moisture). Classical thermodynamics applied to both the dry and the moist atmosphere. Composition of the atmosphere; phase changes of water; stability concepts; Properties of aerosols and clouds, cloud nucleation and precipitation processes, atmospheric electricity.

Schedule
Lecture and discussion schedule (please read the referenced section of Wallace and Hobbs before coming to each lecture):
Lesson          

Subject Section in Text
Basics of the atmosphere
1
Introduction to Atmospheric Science;
  History of Meteorology; Syllabus
-
2
Structure and Composition of the Atmosphere and Ocean
  Demo: Homemade barometer
1.1-1.3.4
3
Dynamics of the Atmosphere:
  Patterns of winds, pressure, precipitation
  Demo: Satellite cloud movie
1.3.5-1.3.6



Atmospheric Thermodynamics
4
Atmospheric Thermodynamics
  Gas laws, kinetic theory
3.1
5 Atmospheric Thermodynamics
  The hydrostatic equation
3.2
6
Atmospheric Thermodynamics
  The first law of thermodynamics
3.3
7
Student presentation:
  Weather observation with homemade barometer
-
8
Review

9
MIDTERM EXAM I



10
Adiabatic Processes
3.4
11
Thermodynamic diagrams: SkewT-logP chart
-
12
Lab: SkewT-logP chart I: Guided practice

13
Water vaper in the air: humidity, saturation, condensation
3.5
14
Lift condensation level; saturated adiabatic lapse rate
3.5
15
Net effects of ascent followed by descent
16
Lab: SkewT-logP chart II: moist processes
3.5
17
Static stability; Second law of thermodynamics 3.6
18
Lab: SkewT-logP chart III: storm/rain analysis
Review

19
MIDTERM EXAM II



20
Lab: Atmospheric sounding: launch a rawinsonde

21
Atmospheric Convection: From thermodynamics to cloud formation




Cloud Microphysics
22
Cloud physics I:
  Aerosol; Warm Clouds; Demo: Cloud in a bottle

6.16.4

23
Cloud physics II:
  Cold Clouds & Rain Making
6.56.6
24
Lab: Weather/stability indexes

25
Cloud physics III:
  Lightning
, Cloud Chemistry, Weather Modification

6.76.8

26
THANKSGIVING NO CLASS
27
Cloud physics IV:
 
Weather Modification




28
Final project presentation
29
Review
30
Current topic (raindate)

TBD
FINAL EXAM



Instructor: Prof. Ning Zeng (CSS 2417, phone 301-405-5377); Office hours: TTH 10:45-12, by appointment, or drop by
Teaching Assistant: Mr. Shaun Howe
MetoGrads free tutoring hours: Monday 4:30-6 at Atlantic 3400

Text bookAtmospheric Science: An introductory survey.  J.M. Wallace & P.V. Hobbs, Academic Press, 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0127329512.

Requirement and grading method:
Student grades will be based on:

Homework rules: You may discuss homework with your classmates, but you should write everything down on your own, in your own words, and you may not share your completed answers with each other. Problem setsare normally due in one week.

Exams will be closed-book.

Special needs: If you have a disability, religious observance, etc that requires accommodation, please let me know in advance so that appropriate accomodations can be arranged.