Lunch hour lectures repository Spring 2009
- Does rule learning make us human?
- The man who invented the concept of pi: William Jones and his circle
- President Obama and America in the World: from inauguration to action
- The Reception of Homer in Byzantium
- Photodynamic Therapy: using light in a gentle approach to cancer therapy by remote control
- One World Week
- Still no black in the union jack
- Darwin Day
- Modelling how water vapour absorbs light
- Children and the environment: independence or obesity?
- Physiology on top of the world - Xtreme Everest
- The future of Brazil
- Sorry, can you say that again..?
- One person households - a resource time bomb?
- Mimicking tissue growth: towards customised, while-you-wait tissue fabrication
- What have the lawyers ever done for us? Law, culture and international agricultural trade
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Modelling how water vapour absorbs light
3 December 2008
Professor Jonathan Tennyson (UCL Physics & Astronomy)
Water vapour dominates the absorption of sunlight by the earth's atmosphere and is the major greenhouse gas. Water is also the third most common molecule in the Universe where it plays an important role in many places from the chemistry of the interstellar medium to the atmospheres of cool stars; detection of water is often taken to be a key first step to detecting life outside our solar system. Given that water is a small and seemingly simple molecule, the way it absorbs and emits light is surprisingly complicated. The lecture will describe some of the issues and how first principles quantum mechanical calculations are now starting to resolve these problems. The results of these calculations are being used for a wide variety of problems including models of the earth's atmosphere and the recent detection of water in an extra-solar planet.
Page last modified on 03 dec 08 14:59