Fall 2014 – 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

[09/04]

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

Appendix B;
1.1-1.2

 

2

[09/08; 09/11]

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

1.3-1.4;
2.1-2.2

 HW #1
[Th 09/18]
Solutions

3

[09/15; 09/18]

Equation of state for dry air [Lecture 4] 

3.1-3.3


4

[09/22; 09/25]

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

3.4-3.6; 4.1

HW #2
[Th 10/02]
Solutions

5

[09/29; 10/02]

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

4.2


6

[10/06; 10/09]

Pressure in practice [Lecture 8]; Exam #1

4.3

Exam #1

[Th 10/09]

7

[10/13; 10/16]

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

5.1-5.4

 

8

[10/20; 10/23]

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

5.5; 5.6-5.8

HW #3
[Th 10/30]
Solutions

9

[10/27; 10/30]

No Class on 10/27; Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics [Lecture 12] 

6.1-6.2


10

[11/03; 11/06]

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]
Solutions

11

[11/10; 11/13]

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

[11/17; 11/20]

Atmospheric stability [Lecture 16]Exam #2

7.10


13

[11/24; 11/25*]

Conditional and potential stability [Lecture 17]

8.1-8.2; 8.3

Exam #2

[M 11/24]

14

[12/01; 12/04]

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

8.4; 8.5


15

[12/08; 12/11]


 


16
[12/15; 12/18]

Professor Lintner away

 


17

[12/22]

Final Exam

 

M 12/22
8:00 am-11:00 am

¤Readings are from Petty unless otherwise indicated.
*Note that Tuesday, 11/25 will follow a Thursday 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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