• University of California-San Diego
  • 9500 Gilman Drive
  • La Jolla CA 92093-0532 USA
  • Tel: 1-858-534-0000
  • Fax: 1-858-534-0000

SIO 209: Organic Aerosols

Winter 2005

Instructor: Lynn Russell
Seminar-Reading Course (4 Credits)
Winter 2005 Wednesdays 12:30-3:20 (NTV 330): Jan 5, 12, 19, 26; Feb 2, 9, 16, 23; Mar 2, 9.


  • Background: Aerosol particles around the globe contain thousands of different organic compounds, constituting a significant fraction of condensed phase pollutants. Organic compounds account for 10-90% of aerosol mass. These particles modify the Earth's radiative balance, reduce visibility, and induce harmful health effects. The complex chemical and physical properties of organic aerosols represent one of the most exciting new areas of interdisciplinary research. The rapid pace of research advances in this field means that important new contributions in laboratory and field measurements are occuring weekly.
  • Text: The text of this course reflects 30 years of peer-reviewed publications on organic aerosol particles.
  • Scope: Key concepts including organic aerosol emissions, properties, reactions, and impacts will be discussed.
  • Approach: Commonly cited references will be assessed in light of the strength of the original findings and more recent evidence.
  • Objectives: This course will teach skills for evaluating new research in the context of previous literature.
  • Discussion Topics:
    Marine organics compose submicron particles not sea salt.
    Evolved gas analysis measures organic mass in particles.
    Organic aerosols absorb light at visible wavelengths.
    Organic aerosols account for 50% of CCN in marine air.
    Organic compounds occur as films surrounding particles.
    Water soluble organic particles deliquesce below saturation.
    Low surface tension organic aerosols are good CCN.
    Urban combustion sources emit PAHs.
    Organic particles are formed by gas-phase oxidation.
    Hydrophobic organic aerosols are oxidized in one day.

Course Materials: