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Unformatted text preview: The Atmospheric Continuum In atmospheric dynamics (ocean dynamics also) we do not treat the fluid as a collection of individual molecules. Instead we treat the fluid as a continuous medium (or continuum) in which a point is a volume element that is very small compared to the total fluid volume but still contains a very large number of molecules . These volume elements are commonly called air parcels or air particles. The properties of these volume elements describe the state of the atmosphere. For further reading, see Martin section 1.1. Newtons Second Law Atmospheric motions are governed by Newtons second law of motion, which states that the rate of change of momentum of an object equals the sum of all the forces acting. ( ) = = = F ma F dt dv m F mv dt d Fundamental Forces To understand atmospheric motions, Newtons second law requires that we understand the forces that act on a fluid parcel. There are two types of forces: body forces and surface forces....
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2011 for the course ENVSCI 324 taught by Professor Broccoli during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.
- Spring '11