This activity has benefited from input from a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop.
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop. Workshop participants were asked to peruse activities submitted by others in their disciplinary group prior to the workshop. The groups then convened early in the workshop to discuss the materials and make suggestions for improvements. To learn more about this review process, see http://serc.carleton.edu/quantskills/review_processes.html#2004.
This page first made public: Oct 23, 2009
In this assignment students investigate the process of cloud droplet nucleation by analyzing the importance of supersaturation, radius of curvature, CCN solute mass and temperature. Students will be produce 3 plots using the spreadsheet program of their choice. The first plot is used to test their understanding of the reading. The second plot is used to help them determine the importance of supersaturation and solute mass, and the third to help them determine the importance of supersaturation and temperature. The final questions let them apply calculus skills to the problem. Questions are a mixture of short and long answer questions.
- review kohler curve concepts
- construct a family of Kohler curves
- discuss the relative importance of temperature and solute mass to cloud drop nucleation
- helps them understand the first part of the precipitation growth process
- interpreting graphs
- applying calculus concepts to meteorology
- developing skills for using graphing software
Context for Use
- The assignment can be presented between a discussion of heterogenous nucleation and growth by diffusion.
- The assignment is designed to take about 10 hrs to complete and thus a due date 7-10 days after it is given is appropriate
- Excel or another graphing program needs to be available for the students
Description and Teaching Materials
Teaching Notes and Tips
This is assignment could easily include a part that asks them to draw the solute and curvature terms seperately so that they can perhaps better see how the Kohler curve is a combination of these two. I have left it out here because it is covered in the reading and the assignment is quite lengthy already.
More information on reading material that is useful for the professor and possibly the students, as well as information on the background knowledge and context for this assignment in a course and curriculum can be found in the following file: Instructor notes - context (Microsoft Word 25kB Jul17 04)
Some information on the common problems I have seen students have with this assignment can be found in the following file: Instructor notes - problems (Microsoft Word 21kB Jul17 04)
References and Resources
Young, K. C., 1993. Microphysical Processes in Clouds. Oxford Press. 427 pp.
Wallace, J. M., P.V. Hobbs, 1977. Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey. Academic Press. 467 pp.