Physical Sciences >> Oceanography

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Course Info

  • Course Number / Code:
  • 12.003 (Fall 2007) 
  • Course Title:
  • Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans 
  • Course Level:
  • Undergraduate 
  • Offered by :
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Massachusetts, United States  
  • Department:
  • Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences 
  • Course Instructor(s):
  • Prof. John Marshall 
  • Course Introduction:

  • 12.003 Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans

    Fall 2007

    Course Highlights

    12.003 Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans

    Fall 2007

    Image of dye in rotating tank of water.
    Observed motion of introducing dye into a rotating tank of water. (Image by Prof. J. Marshall.)

    Course Description

    The laws of classical mechanics and thermodynamics are used to explore how the properties of fluids on a rotating Earth manifest themselves in, and help shape, the global patterns of atmospheric winds, ocean currents, and the climate of the Earth. Theoretical discussion focuses on the physical processes involved. Underlying mechanisms are illustrated through laboratory demonstrations, using a rotating table, and through analysis of atmospheric and oceanic data.

    Special Features

    Technical Requirements

    Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .mpeg and .rm.


This course content is a redistribution of MIT Open Courses. Access to the course materials is free to all users.

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