701-0471-01L  Atmospheric Chemistry

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersM. Ammann, T. Peter
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


701-0471-01 GAtmosphärenchemie2 hrs
Wed08:15-10:00CHN F 46 »
M. Ammann, T. Peter

Catalogue data

AbstractThe lecture provides an introduction to atmospheric chemistry at bachelor level. It introduces the fundamentals of gas phase reactions, the concept of solubility and reactions in aerosols and in clouds. It explains the chemical and physical processes responsible for global (e.g. stratospheric ozone depletion) as well as regional (e.g. urban air pollution) environmental problems.
ObjectiveThe students will understand the basics of gas phase reactions and of reactions and processes in aerosols and clouds. The students will understand the most important chemical processes in the troposphere and the stratosphere.
The students will also acquire a good understanding of atmospheric environmental problems including air pollution, tropospheric ozone formation, stratospheric ozone destruction and the relationship between air pollution and climate change.
Content- Origin and properties of the atmosphere: composition (gases and aerosols), structure, large scale dynamics, UV radiation
- Thermodynamics and kinetics of gas phase reactions: enthalpy and free energy of reactions, rate laws, mechanisms of bimolecular and termolecular reactions.
- Tropospheric photochemistry: Photolysis reactions, photochemical O3 formation, role and budget of HOx, dry and wet deposition
- Aerosols and clouds: chemical properties, primary and secondary aerosol sources, solubility of gases, hygroscopicity, kinetics of gas to particle transfer, N2O5 chemistry, SO2 oxidation, secondary organic aerosol formation
- Air quality: role of planetary boundary layer, summer- versus winter-smog, environmental problems, legislation, long-term trends
- Stratospheric chemistry: Chapman cycle, Brewer-Dobson circulation, catalytic ozone destruction cycles, polar ozone hole, Montreal protocol
- Global aspects: global budgets of ozone, methane, CO and NOx, air quality - climate interactions
Lecture notesLecture materials (slides) are provided continuously during the semester, at least 2 days before each lecture.
Prerequisites / NoticeAttendance of the lecture "Atmosphäre" LV 701-0023-00L or equivalent knowledge is a pre-requisite, and basic courses in physics and chemistry are expected.
On Mondays (or upon agreement) a tutorial is offered. This allows the students to discuss unresolved issues from the lecture or to discuss the problems of the exercise series and their solution. Participation is recommended.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersM. Ammann, T. Peter
Typesession examination
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 20 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationAb der ersten Semesterwoche werden wöchentlich Lernelemente in Form von Übungsaufgaben ausgegeben. In der zweiten Semesterhälfte wird während der Vorlesung eine freiwillige schriftliche Zwischenprüfung à 45 min abgehalten, die auf den vorgängig abgegebenen und besprochenen Lernelementen basiert. Diese Note trägt mit einem Gewicht von 30% zur Schlussnote bei, wenn diese besser ausfällt als die mündliche Sessionsprüfung. Die Abgabe von mindestens 8 Lernelementen in der Form eines selbständig erstellten vollständigen Lösungsversuchs führt zu einer Erhöhung der Schlussnote um 0.25 Notenpunkte.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Atmospheric and Climate Science MasterPrerequisitesWInformation
Earth and Climate Sciences BachelorAdvancedWInformation
Environmental Sciences BachelorAtmosphere and ClimateWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterPrerequisitesWInformation