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The University of Southampton

CHEM3036 Atmospheric Chemistry: An Experimental and Computational Approach

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • be able to use fundamental chemistry to explain and model the important atmospheric process; predict the impact of chemical species on the atmosphere;
  • to use simple models to predict and explain the role of atmospheric processes;
  • appreciate the links between the atmosphere and the other regions of the biosphere;
  • to assess to potential impact of proposed changes to what is or can be release to the atmosphere on the key atmospheric pollution problems.


• The evolution and structure of the atmosphere comparison with other planets • The importance of chemical cycles and of trace species in the atmosphere. • Review of fundamental kinetics, thermodynamics and spectroscopy relevant to atmospheric chemistry • Models used to simulate atmospheric processes; computational simulation approaches for kinetics and photochemistry of the atmosphere • Modern quantum chemistry techniques for chemical reactions • Chemistry of the Stratosphere: The Ozone Layer, “Spray Cans” and Ozone depletion and the Ozone Hole. Computational determination of reactants, products and transition states using quantum chemistry • e.g. why is Br is more reactive than Cl • Chemistry of the Natural and Polluted Troposphere: Cars, Smog, Acid Rain • Transport through the atmosphere: From Aerosols to Metals • Climate Change and global warming.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, Workshops, Course Book and Web materials

Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Practical classes and workshops6
Completion of assessment task
Follow-up work30
Wider reading or practice60
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

A.M.Holloway and R.P.Wayne. Atmospheric Chemistry. 

Grant Richie. Atmospheric Chemistry: From Surface to Stratosphere. 

P.W.Atkins and Paula. Atkins’ Physical Chemistry. 



Online test


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: CHEM2012 AND CHEM2013

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