Fall 2015 – Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere [11:670:323]

Instructor:  Dr. Benjamin R. Lintner

Course Time/Location:  MTh 10:55 am-12:15 pm/ENRS 223

Office Hours/Location: By arrangement/ENRS 250
Email: lintner[ @ ] envsci[ . ]rutgers[ . ]edu

 

Catalogue Description:

Thermodynamics of the atmosphere; energy conservation; ideal gas law; water and its transformations; moist air; aerosols; hydrostatic stability and convection; vertical motion; cloud formation; precipitation.


Prerequisites:

Calculus II [01:640:152]

Physics for the Sciences or General Physics I [11:750:193/194 or 11:750:203/204]

 

Course Text:

Petty, Grant W:  A First Course in Atmospheric Thermodynamics
This book may be purchased directly from the publisher Sundog Publishing, LLC or through on-line booksellers.

 

Learning Goals:

The learning goals for this course are:
(1) Develop a conceptual understanding of atmospheric thermodynamic processes;
(2) Master the foundational mathematical and physical principles of atmospheric thermodynamics;
(3) Apply the conceptual understanding and mathematical and physical principles to solve problems.

Grading:

Homework Assignments [5 Total]:  25% [5% each] 

Semester Exams [2 Total]:  50% [25% each]

Final Exam: 25%

You will be assigned 5 homework sets, each worth 5% of the total course grade.  Two semester exams and a final exam, each accounting for 25% of the total course grade, will be given. Make-up exams are permitted only if an exam is missed for documented serious emergencies or university-sanctioned conflicts.  If you know in advance that you will miss an exam, please make arrangements to take the exam early.

 

Attendance:

While attendance is not mandatory, I strongly recommend that you attend the lectures.  Neglecting to attend may result in missing important information. 

 

Office Hours:

By Arrangement.  Note that I am usually available before class.


Tentative Schedule:

 

Week

[Dates]

TOPICS

Reading¤

Graded Work

1

[09/03]

Course Introduction; Atmospheric Composition, Pressure, & Density [Lecture 1]

Appendix B;
1.1-1.2

 

2

[09/08*; 09/10]

Temperature [Lecture 2]; Thermodynamic systems and variables [Lecture 3]

1.3-1.4; 2.1-2.2

HW #1
[Th 09/17]

3

[09/14; 09/17]

Equation of state for dry air [Lecture 4];
Equation of state for moist air [Lecture 5]

3.1-3.3; 3.4-3.6


4

[09/21; 09/24]

Pressure, hydrostatic balance, and hypsometric equation [Lecture 6]

4.1; 4.2

HW #2
[Th 10/02]


5

[09/28; 10/01]

Pressure profiles for idealized atmospheres [Lecture 7]; Pressure in practice [Lecture 8]

4.3


6

[10/05; 10/08]

10/05--Guest Lecture; Exam #1


Exam #1
[Th 10/08]

7

[10/12; 10/15]

1st Law of Thermodynamics and dry adiabatic processes [Lecture 9-2 parts]

5.1-5.4

 

8

[10/19; 10/22]

Heat engines [Lecture 10]; Reversible and irreversible processes and enthalpy [Lecture 11]

5.5; 5.6-5.8

HW #3
[Th 10/29]

9

[10/26; 10/29]

Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics [Lecture 12] 

6.1-6.2


10

[11/02; 11/05]

Introduction to moist variables and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation [Lecture 13]; Moisture variables on the skew-T diagrams and lifted condensation level [Lecture 14-part 1]


7.1-7.3;
7.4-7.5


HW #4
[Th 11/13]


11

[11/09; 11/12]

Moisture variables on the skew-T diagrams and lifted condensation level [Lecture 14-part 2]; Moist adiabatic lapse rate, equivalent potential, and wet bulb temperatures [Lecture 15] 

7.4-7.5;
7.7-7.9


12

[11/16; 11/19]

Atmospheric stability [Lecture 16]Exam #2

7.10

Exam #1

[Th 11/19]

13

[11/23; 11/26]

Conditional and potential stability [Lecture 17]
Thanksgiving Holiday

8.1-8.2; 8.3


14

[11/30; 12/03]

Parcel stability and convection [Lecture 18]; Stability Indices [Lecture 19]

8.4; 8.5

HW #5
[M 12/08]

15

[12/07; 12/10]


 


16
[12/16]

Final Exam [Note:  Professor Lintner away]

 

W 12/16
12 pm - 3 pm

¤Readings are from Petty unless otherwise indicated.
*Note that Tuesday 09/08 will follow a Monday class schedule.


Additional Information:

Notes on "Temperature in Practice" [Petty section 1.4]
Warm core versus cold core cyclones
youtube tutorial on the fundamentals of skew-T diagrams

Application of the 1st Law:  Carnot cycle example from class
Animation of Large Eddy Simulation of Convective Boundary Layer Development


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