Fall 2013 – 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

[09/05]

No Class


 

2

[09/09; 09/12]

Course Introduction; Atmospheric Composition; Pressure & Density [Lecture 1]; Temperature [Lecture 2]

1.1-1.2, Appendix B; 1.3-1.4

 

3

[09/16; 09/19]

Thermodynamic systems & variables [Lecture 3]; Equation of state for dry air [Lecture 4] 

2.1-2.2; 3.1-3.3

HW #1 [Th 09/19]
**HW #1 Solutions**

4

[09/23; 09/26]

Equation of state for moist air [Lecture 5];  Pressure, hydrostatic balance, and hypsometric equation [Lecture 6-part 1]

3.4-3.6; 4.1


5

[09/30; 10/03]

Pressure, hydrostatic balance, and hypsometric equation [Lecture 6-part 2]; Pressure profiles for idealized atmospheres [Lecture 7]

4.2

HW #2 [M 09/30]
**HW #2 Solutions**

6

[10/07; 10/10]

Pressure in practice [Lecture 8]; Exam #1

4.3

Exam #1

[Th 10/10]

7

[10/14; 10/17]

Bridging the Climate Divide:  Informing the Response to Hurricane Sandy and Implications for Future Vulnerability
M 10/14, 9:30 am-3:30 pm, Cook Campus Center


 

8

[10/21; 10/24]

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

5.1-5.4


9

[10/28; 10/31]

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

5.5; 5.6-5.8

HW #3
[Th 10/31]

**HW #3 Solutions**

10

[11/04; 11/07]

Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics [Lecture 12]; Introduction to moist variables and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation [Lecture 13]

6.1-6.2; 7.1-7.3


11

[11/11; 11/14]

Moisture variables on the skew-T diagrams and lifted condensation level [Lecture 14-2 parts]

7.4-7.5

HW #4 [Th 11/14]
**HW #4 Solutions*

12

[11/18; 11/21]

Moist adiabatic lapse rate, equivalent potential, and wet bulb temperatures [Lecture 15]; Atmospheric stability [Lecture 16]

7.7-7.10


13

[11/25; 11/26*]

Exam #2; Conditional and potential stability [Lecture 17]

8.1-8.2; 8.3

Exam #2

[M 11/25]
**sample Exam**

14

[12/02; 12/05]

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

8.4; 8.5

HW #5 [M 12/09]
**HW #5 Solutions**

15

[12/09]

Professor Lintner away-No Class on M 12/09

 


16

[12/18]

Final Exam [rescheduled]

 

W 12/18
8:00-11:00 pm
**sample Final**

¤Readings are from Petty unless otherwise indicated.
*Note that Tuesday, 11/26 will follow a Thursday class schedule.


Additional Information:

Notes on "Temperature in Practice" [Petty section 1.4]
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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