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Syllabus: (PDF)

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CLOUD AND PRECIPITATION PHYSICS
                                                           

- WELCOME! -

This is the web-page for Cloud and Precipitation Physics. If you're on this webpage, it is probably reasonable to figure that you are likely enrolled in the class -- so thanks for signing up. Materials on this webpage are meant to supplement information given to you in class itself. I'm not a big fan of OAKS, therefore any on-line supplementary material for the course you need can be found here. To the left, you'll find important links/syllabi/etc.

If you'd like to find out more about me or the research we do in my lab, check out my main webpage.

- About This Course -

This course studies (no surprise here) the Physics of Clouds and Precipitation. In particular, the focus of this class is in atmospheric MICROPHYSICS -- studying the properties and processes in the atmosphere on a particle-by-particle scale.

This is NOT a meteorology course, but rather a course in the discipline broadly described as cloud physics. We will not be concerning ourselves with any transient atmospheric phenomena on spatial scales larger than 100 meters or so, and knowledge of atmospheric thermodynamics and dynamical motions on scales useful for forecasting the weather will not be of that much value in mastering this content. I mention this partially to let the meteorology students enrolled in this class know that the content here will be significantly different from your other met courses like synoptic meteorology, climate, or mesoscale meteorology AND so that the non-meteorology students don't feel too scared about the fact that they may not have had any previous meteorology coursework; the lack of a meteorology background should not be a significant hindrance to success in this class.

The content in this class comes from a wide variety of sub-disciplines within Physics and Mathematics including (but not limited to) Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Fluid Dynamics, Atmospheric Chemistry, Photonics/Optics, and Classical Mechanics. If you have already taken some or all of these courses, you may be particularly well positioned to succeed in this class. If you still plan on taking some of these courses in the future, then hopefully your experience here will give you an advantage in those classes later on. Any upper-level Physics or Astrophysics student with sufficient Physics and Mathematics prerequisites will be well prepared for this course. Any specialized information related to the application of meteorological ideas to the Earth's atmosphere will be given as needed, but will not be onerous.

Depending on student interest and available time, we may have a bit of flexibility in regards to the topics we will discuss in the final weeks of the semester. If there is something you want to make sure we cover in class, please let me know. If it works in the general theme, we can probably work something out to make sure we cover what you are interested in -- at least briefly.


- Course Announcements -

TENTATIVE exam dates:
Thursday, September 30th
Thursday, November 11th
Final Exam (CUMULATIVE!): Monday, December 13th from 1-3 PM.


- Homework Assignments -

Assignment 1(PDF) (Due date: 8/26/21)
Assignment 2(PDF) (Due date: 9/2/21)
Assignment 3(PDF) (Due date: 9/9/21)
Assignment 4(PDF) (Due date: 9/16/21)
Assignment 5(PDF) (Due date: 9/23/21)
Assignment 6(PDF) (Due date: 10/7/21)
Assignment 7(PDF) (Due date: 10/21/21)
Assignment 8(PDF) (Due date: 11/4/21)
Assignment 9(PDF) (Anticipated Due date: 11/18/21)
Assignment 10(PDF) (Anticipated Due date: 12/2/21)

- Links/Resources -

Texts worth consultation (PDF)

Saturation Vapor Pressure as a Function of Temperature:
(Common Temperatures)
(On a semilog plot)
(Approaching/near boiling point)

Other Links:
(Ratio between Gibbs Free Energy on an inhomogeneous flat surface and the Homogeneous Nucleation Gibbs Free Energy as a function of contact angle)
(Scattering Efficiency as a function of Size Parameter)
(Mie Scattering Calculator Online!)
(Lewin Movie Part 1; start at 1:45)
(Lewin Movie Part 2)
(Fluids Movies)
(Drag Coefficient as Defined in Class)
(Comparison between terminal velocity of a solid sphere of density 1 g/cc and experimental results from the 1940s for liquid raindrops).
(Ice Crystal Habits)
(Formation Conditions for Ice Crystals)

Ice nucleation videos. Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Video 4, Video 5, Video 6, Video 7
updated: 18 October 2021