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 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry  posted by  boym   on 2/8/2008  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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McRae, Gregory, and Ronald Prinn, 10.571J Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Spring 2006. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 12 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

10.571J / 12.306 / 12.806J Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry

Spring 2006

Interactions between air pollution and climate.
Interactions between air pollution and climate. (Image courtesy of Anne Slinn.)

Course Highlights

This course features lecture notes, background readings, and home work assignments.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, including experience with computer codes. It is intended for undergraduates and first year graduate students.


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Physical Chemistry (5.61), Advanced Calculus for Engineers (18.075), or permission of instructor. This course is intended for undergraduates and first year graduate students.


This course provides an introduction to the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere including experience with computer codes, aerosols and theories of their formation, evolution, and removal. Topics covered include, gas and aerosol transport from urban to continental scales, coupled models of radiation, transport, and chemistry, solution of inverse problems to deduce emissions and removal rates, emissions control technology and costs, and applications to air pollution and climate.

Textbook and Readings

This course has no required text. The following optional text can be used as a supplement to the course notes:

Amazon logo Seinfeld, J. H., and S. N. Pandis. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience, 1997. ISBN: 9780471178163. (Paperback.)

Additional references organized by topics are listed in the readings section.


Problem Sets 30%
Critical Review of an Atmospheric Science Paper 20%
Take Home Exam in Final Two Weeks 50%




M = Prof. Gregory Mcrae
P = Prof. Ronald Prinn

1 Introduction, Properties of the Atmosphere P, M  
2 Combustion Sources and Stoichiometry M  
3 Chemical Thermodynamics/Kinetics M  
4 Radiative Transfer and Photochemistry M  
5 Tropospheric Chemistry: CO M  
6 Tropospheric Chemistry: NOx and Ozone M  
7 Tropospheric Chemistry: HCHO and Ozone M Problem set 1 out
8 Tropospheric Chemistry: Complex Hydrocarbons M  
9-10 Atmospheric Chemistry and Transport: Continuity Equation P Problem set 1 due in Lec #9
11 Atmospheric Chemical Transport Models: Basic Structures P  
12-14 Tropospheric Chemistry: Homogeneous Processes M  
15-16 Air Pollution Controls M Problem set 2 out in Lec #15
17 Integrated Assessment of Air Pollution M Problem set 2 due
18 Atmospheric Transport Models: Numerical Integration P  
19 Incorporating Chemical and Physical Processes in Models P  
20-21 Atmospheric Chemical Transport Models: Examples P Take-home exam out
22 Atmospheric Chemistry: Measurement Systems/Estimation P  
23 Inverse Methods: Optimal Estimation P  
24 Inverse Methods: Statistical Methods P Take-home exam due
25-27 Inverse Methods: Examples P   Tell A Friend