Homepage for Ph536, Atmospheric Convection
This is the homepage for a graduate course in the physics of atmospheric convection. We will cover the dynamics, thermodynamics, and microphysics of convection, as well as its interaction with the rest of the atmosphere.
Some
notes
from the continuum mechanics course may be a useful supplement for the first few weeks of lectures.
Syllabus
Governing equations of fluid dynamics
(2 weeks)
Stress
Newtonian fluids
Mass continuity
Momentum
Incompressible fluid
Ideal gas
Convection and turbulence
(2 weeks)
Boussinesq energetics
Boussinesq stability analysis
Kelvin circulation theorem
Turbulence
Thermodynamics of moist convection
(3 weeks)
Review of fundamentals
Ideal gas again
Equation of state for air
Condensed matter
Vapor and condensate in equilibrium
Moist entropy
Thermodynamic governing equations
Other thermodynamic variables
Simple models of convection
(2 weeks)
Plume models
Thermal models
Nonsimilar thermals
Adding moist thermodynamics
Vertical mixing models
Microphysics of convection
(2 weeks)
Nucleation of hydrometeors
Diffusive growth
Accretional growth
Evaporation and breakup of raindrops
Convection and the environment
(3 weeks)
Conditional instability
Control of CAPE and CIN
Development of deep convection
Precipitation and the environment
Form of convection
Expectations and grading
Class time will be split between lectures and problem solution. You will also be asked to write a paper (approx. 20 pages) on some aspect of atmospheric convection. The first draft of your paper will be peer reviewed by other members of the class. You will then present it orally near the end of the semester. The grading will be based 70% on problem solutions and 30% on the paper.
Paper schedule
Choice of paper topic due: Thu 7 Feb.
First draft due: Tue 26 Mar.
Final draft due: Thu 25 Apr.
Oral presentations: Thu 2 May.
Assignments
Assignments
will be announced in class and on the web. A few days after an assignment is made, we will discuss the problems in class. Shortly thereafter written versions will be due.