AOS 640: Radiation in the Atmosphere and Ocean

Catalog description

Course Description: Graduate level core course in radiation. Introduction to basic laws, radiative transfer under clear sky conditions, scattering by individual particles, multiple scattering, radiative properties of clouds and aerosols, energy budget, miscellaneous applications.

Pre-Reqs: Physics 208, Math 234 & cons inst


My textbook, A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation, began as lecture notes for this course. It is therefore the definitive reference in terms of sequence, content, and emphasis.   If you want to know what my course covers, take a look at the Table of Contents.  My lectures walk through the book from cover to cover, excluding only the appendix and skipping an occasional specialized application here and there.

Notwithstanding the title of the course, there is no explicit treatment of the ocean in my version.  That said, the general principles of radiative transfer are no different in the ocean than they are in the atmosphere.  About the only two major concepts you can pretty much forget about within the ocean are (a) transfer of thermally emitted radiation (because the ocean is too opaque at the relevant wavelengths) and (b) well-defined resonant line spectra (because those are specific to gases).

The grade for the course has historically been based on homework (10%), a midterm (20%), a final exam (20%) and two of three possible computer projects (25% each).   Details are subject to change.