Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer of Atmospheres

Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer of Planetary Atmospheres

Earth and Planetary Sciences 238, Spring 2014

Tuesday/Thursday, 1:00 - 2:30, Geological Museum 103A

Absorption, emission, and scattering of the atmospheres of planets, with emphasis on the Earth's atmosphere. Atmospheric spectroscopic properties for various measurement geometries. Quantitative spectroscopy and atmospheric structure are reviewed. Radiative transfer modeling and simulation and interpretation of atmospheric spectra from microwave through ultraviolet.

Instructor: Dr. Kelly Chance

Last updated: January 26, 2014

     office:  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
              Atomic and Molecular Physics Division
              Observatory P-252
              60 Garden Street
              Mail stop 50
              Cambridge, MA  02138-1516

  phone:      +1-617-495-7389
  fax:        +1-617-495-5439
  e-mail:     kchance@cfa.harvard.edu

  Teaching Fellow: Christopher Miller
  e-mail:          cmiller@fas.harvard.edu

              Office hours for both by appointment

Reference books (on course reserve at Gordon McKay Library)

For additional study:

And, of course, the standard spectroscopic works by Herzberg:

Reference data and computer code

Class notes and references

Class assignments and examinations



January 28

Introduction - Atmospheric measurement programs

January 30

Basic Earth and atmospheric properties

February 4

Solar properties

February 6

Background information (elements of math and physics)

February 11

Blackbody radiation, Boltzmann statistics, temperature and equilibrium; 1st project assignment

February 13

Radiative transfer

February 18

Spectroscopy: Introduction and molecular rotation

February 20

Vibrational spectroscopy

February 25

1st project due: Presentations and discussion

February 27

Spectroscopy: Line shapes

March 4

Spectroscopic data bases (Dr. Laurence Rothman on HITRAN)

March 6

Electronic spectroscopy

March 11

Atmospheric scattering

March 13

Radiation and climate

March 15 - March 23

Spring Recess

March 25

Atmospheres and instruments

March 27

Radiative transfer modeling; 2nd project assignment

April 1


April 3


April 8

Atmospheric retrieval methods

April 10

Applications to atmospheric measurements

April 15

Applications to atmospheric measurements

April 17

2nd project due: Presentations and discussion

April 22

Applications to atmospheric measurements

April 24

Applications to atmospheric measurements; Final project assignment

April 29

Applications to atmospheric measurements

May 1 - May 8

Reading Period; Final project presentations and discussion