METEO 431: ATMOSPHERIC THERMODYNAMICS

INSTRUCTOR: Jerry Y. Harrington, TEACHING ASSISTANT: Hui-Wen Lai, CLASS MEETINGS: 103 Leonhard Building, 2:30 – 3:20 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

METEO 431: ATMOSPHERIC THERMODYNAMICS 

Spring 2017 

INSTRUCTOR: 
Jerry Y. Harrington
OFFICE: 513 Walker Building
PHONE: 863-1584
EMAIL: jyh10@psu.edu
WEB: Course Content on Canvas
OFFICE HOURS: 11am - Noon Monday and Wednesday, 4:00 – 5:30 pm Thursday (529 Walker Building) 

TEACHING ASSISTANT:
Hui-Wen Lai
OFFICE:  603 Walker Building
EMAIL: hwlai@psu.edu
OFFICE HOURS: 10:30am - Noon Tuesday and Friday. 

CLASS MEETINGS: 103 Leonhard Building, 2:30 – 3:20 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 

PREREQUISITES:           

  • METEO 101 or 201 and PHYS 212
  • METEO 300 (Concurrent) 

COURSE TEXTBOOKS:

  • Atmospheric Thermodynamics by C.F. Bohren and B. Albrecht 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

METEO 431 is a 3-credit lecture course that is designed to provide you with basic knowledge of thermodynamics and how it is applied to the atmosphere. 

GRADING:

  • Midterm 1 (Thursday, Feb 9, 6 – 7:15 pm): 25%
  • Midterm 2 (Thursday, March 23, 6 – 7:15 pm): 25%
  • Midterm 3 (Final Exam Period): 25%
  • Quizzes (every other Friday): 15%
  • Homework: 10%

Location of Midterm Exams: To Be Determined  

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

  • Earth & Mineral Sciences Library - 105 Deike Building.
  • Title Author(s) Call Number
  • Atmospheric Thermodynamics Iribarne and Godson QC880.4 T5I74 1981
  • Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans Curry and Webster QC880.4 T5C87 1999
  • Atmospheric Science Wallace and Hobbs QC861.2 W34 1977
  • Physical Chemistry Atkins QD453.2 A88 1994b
  • Understanding Thermodynamics van Ness QC311.V285 1983
  • Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics Sears and Salinger QC311 S42 1975 

COURSE OUTLINE 

  1. OVERVIEW
    • Atmospheric Context [Sect. 1.1, 1.7, 2.6]
    • Basic Concepts [Sect. 2.1]

  2. ENERGY
    • Mechanical Systems [Sect. 1.2-1.3]
    • Interaction Energies [Sect. 1.4, 1.6]
    • Internal Energy and the First Law [Sect. 1.8]
    • Zeroth Law and Thermometry [Sect. 2.1]

  3. GASES
    • Gas Laws [Sect. 2.1, 2.2]
    • Kinetic Theory [Sect. 2.1, 2.3-2.5, 5.4]
    • Gaseous Mixtures [Sect. 2.7-2.8, 3.7]

  4. HEAT CAPACITIES AND ENTHALPY
    • Thermodynamic Functions [Sect. 3.1]
    • Specific Heats [Sect. 3.2, 3.6-3.7]
    • Enthalpy [Sect. 3.2]
  5. THE SECOND LAW
    • Spontaneous Change [Sect. 4.1]
    • Cyclic Processes [Sect. 4.4]
    • Entropy [Sect. 4.1-4.3]
  6. MULTIPHASE SYSTEMS
    • Phase Transformations [Sect. 5.1-5.2]
    • Free Energy [Sect. 5.3, 5.6-5.8]
    • Phase Diagrams [Sect. 5.5]
  7. ATMOSPHERIC APPLICATIONS
    • Thermodynamic Diagrams [Sect. 6.6]
    • Processes [Sect. 3.3-3.5, 6.3-6.4, 6.9]
    • Soundings and Stability [Sect. 3.5, 6.1-6.2, 6.5, 6.7]

Information in the brackets to the right of each topic identifies where the subject matter can be located in Bohren & Albrecht’s textbook. 

CLASSROOM POLICIES AND OTHER NOTES 

COURSE PHILOSOPHY:

“I see and I forget, I hear and I forget, I do and I understand.” - Confucius 

If you merely read books and listen to others, you will never really learn anything new. New knowledge is only truly gained by thinking and working things through for yourself. The difference is like that between one who simply reads about an experience and one who lives it.

Schopenhaur's Aphorisms (Paraphrased). 

“The main job of a teacher is to free the student from the teacher” - Zen Buddhist Saying 

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

It is expected that you have a good understanding of mathematics (calculus I and II) and physics (mechanics, electricity and magnetism). These are implied prerequisites for the course! Students with weak backgrounds in these fundamental disciplines are advised to either postpone enrollment in this course, or get up to speed now! Your ability to understand the material in this course depends critically on how well you learned your math and physics! 

I expect active participation from all students in the course each and every week. I also expect each student to keep up with the material on her/his own. This includes reviewing lecture notes, reading assigned material, and reading material from books in the library. It is never possible to fully understand the material in a course simply by attending lectures. It is best to think of me as a guide through the relevant material, but it is you who must do all the hard work that goes along with the learning process. Like anything else, what you get out of this course depends on what you put into, and depends on your attitude as well. Working hard, thinking a lot, and maintaining a positive perspective are the best ways to gain the most from this course! 

COURSE LETTER GRADES: I assign letter grades based on the class statistics. I nearly always use the mean of the final score distribution as lowest B- grade.  In most prior classes, the mean has usually fallen around 76 to 80, but not always. Breaks between letter grades are assigned based on the standard deviation in the final score distribution. I generally add the mean plus the standard deviation to find the lowest A- and the mean minus the standard deviation is generally the lowest C.  Divisions among specific letter grades (such as B-, B and B+) are generally determined by dividing the grade range into three equal parts. Scores below a 50 automatically earn and F grade in this course.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses that may be grounds for failing an assignment, an exam, or even the course. Please review the College policies related to academic integrity on the web at : Earth and Mineral Sciences Academic Integrity Policy: http://www.ems.psu.edu/current_undergrad_students/academics/integrity_policy 

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY REQUIRED SYLLABUS COMPONENTS

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  1. Students can demonstrate an ability to apply thermodynamic principles quantitatively to atmospheric problems (relate to program objectives 1 and 3)
  2. Students can demonstrate the use of thermodynamics equations in determining the thermal structure of basic atmospheric phenomena (relate to program objectives 2) 

COURSE OUTCOMES:

  1. Students can demonstrate knowledge of how thermal energy and the first law of thermodynamics are applied to describe atmospheric thermal properties and structure (relate to program outcomes b)
  2. Students can demonstrate knowledge of how entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are applied to basic thermal problems (relate to program outcome b)
  3. Students can demonstrate knowledge of the process of phase change in atmospheric phenomena (relate to program outcomes b and c)
  4. Students can demonstrate an ability to analyze atmospheric soundings using a thermodynamic diagram (relate to program outcomes a, b, c, and d) 

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:

The University provides resources and assistance to students with disabilities. Contact information for the Office of Disability Services may be found here: Contact information for the Office of Disability Services may be found here: http://equity.psu.edu/ods/dcl. For further information, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site here: http://equity.psu.edu/ods.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you need to contact the disability services office for the University Park campus, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. See the following guidelines for more information: http://equity.psu.edu/ods/guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, the disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. 

EMERGENCIES AND WEATHER DELAYS:

Campus weather delays and emergencies are announced on Penn State News: http:/news.psu.edu/ and communicated to electronically through PSUAlert (Sign up at: https://psualert.psu.edu/psualert/).

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