The Wild World of Atmospheric Physics
Fifth block always feels like a bit of a whirlwind, as we all frantically try to get out of vacation mode and back into our normal role as students. But never have I experienced a fifth block quite this intense. I am in what will almost certainly be the hardest class of my CC career – Air: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry. So far the course has lived up to its (somewhat intimidating) reputation established by previous EV students.
We have had a lot of challenging work and a demanding schedule, but we are learning fascinating material and getting the opportunity to see real world applications of what we are learning. As Nicole mentioned, we launched a giant, six-foot wide weather balloon with the help of an engineer from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). And yesterday, we experienced first hand the work that goes into reporting common weather indices such as dew point and humidity. We got to take our lab outside on the quad to try out the instrumentation and methods. So even though we’re all in a grueling class, we’re still able to enjoy the outdoors – and the glorious sunny weather we’ve been having!
We continue on with physics for now, but in the next week we’ll be moving on to Atmospheric Chemistry. Word around the lab is that we’ll be performing an analysis of the particulate matter (a dangerous type of air pollution) content in Colorado Springs. As we forge on, we learn more and more about the air we’ve so casually been relying upon our entire lives.