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Aerosol Chemistry

Small airborne particles – aerosols – are in the air all around us. They vary in size from nanometers to hundreds of micrometers. Aerosols can come from many different sources and have a broad environmental influence, affecting climate, visibility, ecosystems and human health.

Chemical analysis of individual aerosol particles that formed ice crystals over Scandinavia.
Chemical analysis of individual aerosol particles that formed ice crystals over Scandinavia.

This course concentrates on aerosol chemistry. In the course you will learn about the sources and fates of atmospheric particles with different chemical compositions. You will learn about how particles are formed, what sort of chemical reactions they take part in or are influenced by, and how to measure their chemical composition. You will also learn how effects on climate and human health depend on the chemical composition of aerosols. The course will allow you to apply the knowledge you gain about fundamental chemistry to issues of practical importance.

Topics covered include:

  • Natural and human sources of aerosol particles
  • The chemical characteristics of aerosols
  • Aerosol life cycle (chemical and physical processes and characteristics, chemical transformations, nucleation, gas-to-particle conversion, coagulation and deposition)
  • Surface reactivity
  • Analytical methods for determining the chemical composition of aerosols
  • The effects of aerosols on climate and human health
  • Basic meteorology
  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    The course includes lectures, a site visit, computer labs, exercises and discussions.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics by  Seinfeld and Pandis, second edition

  • Course reports

  • More information

    Recommended course (optional) for the program students at the Master’s Programme in Environmental Science: Atmosphere-Biogeochemistry-Climate.

  • Contact

    Study councellors

    Course coordinator

    Claudia Mohr,

    Department of Environmental Science, unit of Atmospheric Science