20553 Topics in Atmospheric Chemistry 1

Credits: 3 advanced seminar credits in Chemistry or in Meteorology

Prerequisites: 36 credits in the Sciences. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Required: Differential and Integral Calculus I (or Infinitesimal Calculus I), General Chemistry2 (or General Chemistry I + General Chemistry II, for Biology Students; or General Chemistry I + General Chemistry II), and Fundamentals of Physics I + Fundamentals of Physics II

Recommended: Inorganic Chemistry or Organic Chemistry, Chemical Kinetics, Introduction to Meteorology3

The course is based on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, by J. H. Seinfeld and S. N. Pandis (John Wiley & Sons, 2006). The text is accompanied by a study guide edited by Itzhak Dotan and Yoav Yair.

The area of atmospheric chemistry is of primary importance due to the fact that the atmosphere is an arena in which various chemical reactions occur at different heights and in different ways, and directly affect events on earth. In the atmosphere, there are natural chemical cycles of emissions from the biosphere and the hydrosphere into the air in addition to man-made substances which are integrated into the complex chemical system in the atmosphere (and create among other things acid rain and smog). Solid particles (aerosols) and clouds are by-products of common heterogeneous chemical reactions in the atmosphere that play an important role in climatic change processes occurring on earth.

Topics: Atmospheric trace constituents, Chemical kinetics, Atmospheric radiation and photochemistry, Chemistry of the stratosphere, Chemistry of the troposphere, Wet deposition.

In the second part of the course, students write a seminar paper under the guidance of a supervisor. The course website includes links to relevant websites, sample seminar papers and NASA databases.

1There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.

2or General Chemistry (20477 or 20487), which is no longer offered.

3Students who have not taken Introduction to Meteorology (20291) will be required to study and submit an assignment on key topics from the course.