Master’s studies

Syllabus for Atmospheric Physics



  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1ME401
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N, Earth Science A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), 3, 4, 5
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2015-04-20
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2015
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 35 credits in mathematics and 35 credits in physics
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

After the course the student shall be able to

  • apply thermodynamics on dry and humid air
  • determine if the atmosphere is stable or unstable from a vertical temperature profile
  • describe how precipitation is created
  • explain how motion (wind) is created in the atmosphere


Application of the basic equations of fluid dynamics on atmospheric flow. The relation between the distributions of wind, pressure and temperature. Scale analysis of atmospheric motions. Basic kinematics. Continuity equation. Bjerknes circluation and vorticity theorems and their application on atmospheric otions. The influence of the earth's surface on the atmosphere. The properties of the dry and humid air. Thermodynamic diagrams. Height determination from radiosoundings. Methods for stability analusis. Cloud formation processes and the properties of clouds. Precipitation processes.


Lectures, practical assignments and project work


Two written examinations in atmospehric dynamics (7.5 credits) and atmospheric thermodynamics (6 credits), presentations of project work (oral and written) and practical assignment (written) (1.5 credits)

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2015

  • Holton, James R. An introduction to dynamic meteorology

    4: Burlington, MA : Elsevier Academic Press, cop., 2004

    Find in the library

  • Rindert, Birger Termodynamik, hydrostatik och molnfysik

    Institutionen för geovetenskaper,

  • Tsonis, Anastasios A. An introduction to atmospheric thermodynamics

    2nd ed.: Cambridge: Cambridge university press, c2007

    Find in the library

  • Rogers, Roddy Rhodes; Yau, Man Kong A short course in cloud physics

    3. ed.: Oxford: Pergamon, 1989

    Find in the library