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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

John M Wallace
ATM S 501
Seattle Campus

Fundamentals of Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere

Fundamentals of hydrostatics, thermodynamics, radiation, cloud physics, and atmospheric chemistry. Offered: A.

Class description

Fundamentals of hydrostatics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer with application to planetary atmospheres, cloud physics, and atmospheric chemistry. An introduction to climate dynamics.

Student learning goals

Students will acquire an overview of the subdisciplines that make up atmospheric sciences: hydrostatics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer, cloud physics and atmospheric chemistry.

They will be able to synthesize factual and quantitative information derived from these subdisciplines.

They will appreciate the role of the atmosphere in the Earth system as it relates to the history of the Earth and climate change.

They will be able to work elementary quantitative exercises in support of the above goals.

They will be prepared for more advanced graduate courses in Atmospheric Sciences and in the Program on Climate Change.

General method of instruction

Lectures, reading assignments, assigned quantitative exercises, weekly quizzes that require working quantitative exercises.

Recommended preparation

First year calculus including first order differential equations and integration. A year of undergraduate physics with calculus. A year of undergraduate chemistry.

Class assignments and grading

Solving quantitative problems in weekly modules.

Weekly quizzes 80%. Final exam 20%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by John M Wallace
Date: 09/17/2007