Skip to content Skip to search. Study guide for final exam. Atmospheric thermodynamics Considerations of moist air and cloud theories typically involve various temperatures, such as equivalent potential temperature, wet-bulb and virtual temperatures. They will consist of one or two questions requiring short answers about the material covered the previous week.
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Processes [Sect. New knowledge is only truly gained by thinking and working things through for yourself. The difference is like that between one who simply reads about an experience and one who lives it. These are implied prerequisites for the course! Students with weak backgrounds in these fundamental disciplines are advised to either postpone enrollment in this course, or get up to speed now!
Your ability to understand the material in this course depends critically on how well you learned your math and physics! I expect active participation from all students in the course each and every week.
This includes reviewing lecture notes, reading assigned material, and reading material from books in the library. It is never possible to fully understand the material in a course simply by attending lectures. It is best to think of me as a guide through the relevant material, but it is you who must do all the hard work that goes along with the learning process.
Like anything else, what you get out of this course depends on what you put into, and depends on your attitude as well. Working hard, thinking a lot, and maintaining a positive perspective are the best ways to gain the most from this course! I nearly always use the mean of the final score distribution as lowest B- grade. In most prior classes, the mean has usually fallen around 76 to 80, but not always.
Breaks between letter grades are assigned based on the standard deviation in the final score distribution. I generally add the mean plus the standard deviation to find the lowest A- and the mean minus the standard deviation is generally the lowest C. Scores below a 50 automatically earn and F grade in this course.
Overview[ edit ] The atmosphere is an example of a non-equilibrium system. Those dynamics are modified by the force of the pressure gradient and that motion is modified by the Coriolis force. The tools used include the law of energy conservation, the ideal gas law , specific heat capacities, the assumption of isentropic processes in which entropy is a constant , and moist adiabatic processes during which no energy is transferred as heat. Most of tropospheric gases are treated as ideal gases and water vapor , with its ability to change phase from vapor, to liquid, to solid, and back is considered as one of the most important trace components of air. Advanced topics are phase transitions of water, homogeneous and in-homogeneous nucleation, effect of dissolved substances on cloud condensation, role of supersaturation on formation of ice crystals and cloud droplets. Considerations of moist air and cloud theories typically involve various temperatures, such as equivalent potential temperature, wet-bulb and virtual temperatures. Connected areas are energy, momentum, and mass transfer , turbulence interaction between air particles in clouds, convection, dynamics of tropical cyclones, and large scale dynamics of the atmosphere.
METEO 431: ATMOSPHERIC THERMODYNAMICS
The core of the text focuses on water and its transformations. Four chapters lay the foundation, from energy conservation to the ideal gas law, specific heat capacities, adiabatic processes, and entropy. An extensive chapter treats phase transitions of water, and a lengthy discussion of the van der Waals equation sets the stage for phase diagrams. Free energy is applied to determining the effect of dissolved substances, total pressure, and size on vapor pressure. The chapter on moist air and clouds discusses wet-bulb and virtual temperatures, isentropic ascent of saturated air, thermodynamic diagrams, stability, and cloud formation. The final chapter covers energy, momentum, and mass transfer, topics not usually considered part of thermodynamics. Measurements are included and experiments and observations are suggested, all with the aim of breathing life into equations.