Module Identifier PH28520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Shadia R Habbal  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Andrew R Breen, Professor Geraint Vaughan, Miss Jaqueline Woollam  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Level 1  
Co-Requisite None  
Mutually Exclusive None  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 workshops  
  Practical   Incorporated into PH25010, PH24520 and PH25520  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Brief description

This module covers the physics of planetary and satellite interiors, atmospheres and orbital dynamics. The module describes the formation of the solar system and examines the processes of planetisimal accretion. It gives an account of tidal phenomena, including ocean tides and the Roche tidal limit for planetary ring systems. A description of the physics of planetary interiors covers the process of differentiation, the self compression model of internal density and how effective potential reveals information about planetary internal structure. Heat generation and flow in planetary interiors is examined and the self-exciting dynamo theory for the generation of magnetic field is introduced. The orbital behaviour of solar-system objects is examined and phenomena such as orbital resonances discussed. The evolution and dynamics of the atmospheres of both gas-giant and terrestrial planets are addressed, with particular emphasis on the contrasting histories of Earth, Mars and Venus. An introduction is given to the physics of the Earth?s atmosphere. The basic principles of radiation, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics are applied to gain an understanding of fundamental atmospheric phenomena. Discussion will emphasize the environmental issues of climate change and ozone depletion. Applications such as remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and weather prediction are also introduced.   

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
J.M. Wallace and P.V. Hobbs Atmospheric Science, an Introductory Survey 0127329501
J.W. Moran and M.D. Morgan Meteorology 0132667010
W.K. Hartmann Moons and Planets Wadsworth
Zeilik & Gregory Introductory Astronomy & AstroPhysics 4th. Saunders College Publishing
** Recommended Text
J. Kaler Astronomy Harper Collins


This module is at CQFW Level 5