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An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics

  • Uses a variety of basic physical principles, together with standard mathematical tools familiar to physics students, to build up an understanding of the most important atmospheric phenomena
  • Places an emphasis on the underlying physics, while atmospheric applications are developed mainly in the problems at the end of chapters, which help students test their understanding of the material
  • Solutions to the student problems and all the figures from the book are available for instructors to download from the book's website
  • A new chapter builds on material covered earlier to give students a broad understanding of the physical concepts underlying the topic of climate change

By: David G Andrews (Author)

256 pages, 104 b/w illustrations, 3 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Apr 2010 | Edition: 2 | #184363 | ISBN-13: 9780521693189
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £34.99 $44/€41 approx
Hardback | May 2010 | Edition: 2 | #184376 | ISBN-13: 9780521872201
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About this book

A quantitative introduction to the Earth's atmosphere for intermediate-advanced undergraduate and graduate students, with an emphasis on underlying physical principles. This edition has been brought completely up-to-date, and now includes a new chapter on the physics of climate change which builds upon material introduced in earlier chapters, giving the student a broad understanding of some of the physical concepts underlying this most important and topical subject. In contrast to many other books on atmospheric science, the emphasis is on the underlying physics. Atmospheric applications are developed mainly in the problems given at the end of each chapter. An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics is an essential resource for all students of atmospheric physics as part of an atmospheric science, meteorology, physics, Earth science, planetary science, or applied mathematics course.

"This textbook provides a concise, accurate and elegant introduction to scientific study of the Earth's atmosphere."
World Meteorological Organization Bulletin

"[...] well-written and clearly organized [...] covers a broad survey of topics."
– George J. Hakim, EOS

"David Andrews has crafted a thoughtful introductory text on atmospheric physics that provides a comprehensive and yet easy to understand treatment of the fundamental physics underlying the broad field of atmospheric sciences."
– Steven Businger, University of Hawaii

"[...] an up-to-date overview of the field, should be a strong candidate for undergraduate level classes that introduce the subject of atmospheric physics, and it is a worthy addition for the library of any scientist or engineer interested in the filed of atmospheric sciences."
– Steven Businger, Journal of Geodesy

"[...] covers the three fundamental pillars of atmospheric physics – thermodynamics, radiation and fluid mechanics [...] the strength of this book is the way it develops the fundamental ideas of atmospheric physics without introducing too much extraneous detail [...] I expect this book to become a standard text for many atmospheric physics courses in future years."
– Geraint Vaughan, Teaching Earth Sciences

"[...] a good textbook for a thorough introduction to atmospheric physics."
– Jorg Matschullat, Environmental Geology

"[...] I strongly recommend [this] book, both because there is no other recent text that covers the same material and because of the high quality [...] The author does an exceptional job of organising the presentation of complex material, and manages to explain it in terms that are accessible to undergraduates and more senior students, as well as people with a more casual interest in the topics who seek a basic understanding of the physical principles."
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society


1. Introduction
2. Atmospheric thermodynamics
3. Atmospheric radiation
4. Basic fluid dynamics
5. Further atmospheric fluid dynamics
6. Stratospheric chemistry
7. Atmospheric remote sounding
8. Climate change
9. Atmospheric modelling

Appendix A. Useful physical constants
Appendix B. Derivation of the equations of motion in spherical coordinates

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David Andrews has been a lecturer in Physics at Oxford University and a Physics tutor at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, for 20 years. During this time he has had extensive experience of teaching a wide range of physics courses, including atmospheric physics. This experience has included giving lectures to large student audiences and also giving tutorials to small groups. Tutorials, in particular, have given him insights into the kinds of problems that physics students encounter when learning atmospheric physics, and the kinds of topics that excite them. His broad teaching experience has also helped him introduce students to connections between topics in atmospheric physics and related topics in other areas of physics. He feels that it is particularly important to expose today's physics students to the excitements and challenges presented by the atmosphere and climate. He has also published a graduate textbook, Middle Atmosphere Dynamics, with J. R. Holton and C. B. Leovy (1987, Academic Press). He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, a Member of the Institute of Physics, and a Member of the American Meteorological Society.

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