PHY-30031 - Atmospheric Physics
Coordinator: Barry Smalley Room: LJ2.05 Tel: +44 1782 7 34229
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module explores the physical processes governing the structure and circulation of atmospheres, including thermodynamics, radiative transfer, dynamics and waves. While primarily concentrating on the Earth's atmosphere, the physics explored will, nevertheless, be relevant to the study of the atmospheres of other planets in our Solar System and elsewhere.

This module aims to develop an understanding, at the undergraduate level, of how physics is applied to explain the properties and phenomenology of atmospheres. The concepts from core studies of mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics will be used and extended as applied to the study of atmospheres.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe quantitatively the structure and dynamics of atmospheres.: 2
solve the equation of radiative transfer to evaluate the effect of radiation on atmospheric structure.: 1,2
apply the laws of motion to describe atmospheric dynamics and waves.: 1,2
use the principles of thermodynamics to determine the structure of atmospheres.: 1,2

Study hours

Active learning hours:
Lectures: 24 hours
Tutorials: 12 hours
Independent study:
Problem Sheets: 24 hours
Private Study and Directed Reading: 90 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Problem Sheets weighted 30%
Three assessed problem sheets
There will be three problem sheets, each worth 10% of the module mark. The sheets will contain a mixture of analytical and computational problems to solve.

2: Unseen Exam weighted 70%
2-hour unseen written examination
Unseen closed-book examination with questions based on a mix of factual knowledge, understanding and problem solving.