Calculus II - Project 1.pdf - Calculus II Project 1 Air...

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Calculus II Project 1 Air Pollution: Particulate Matter Purpose We will use this lab to develop an understanding of how fine, airborne, particulate matter is measured by industry and regulators. We will use functions and integrals to understand how aerosol concentrations are modeled, and we will use numerical methods of computing integrals to make the connection between the theory and data. Preview Scientists, public health advocates, envi- ronmentalists, and Environmental Protection Agency regulators are concerned with airborne fine particulate matter (PM) for two reasons: PM is one of several pollutants that combine to create smog, thereby limiting visibility and obscuring scenic vistas; and inhalation of PM contributes to a variety of respiratory illnesses. Terminology Although we speak of haze, dust, and smoke as different atmospheric phenomena, all of these things are caused by particles in the air. The particles may be solid or liquid, and they may be spherical or irregular in shape. Nevertheless, all of these airborne elements are classified as aerosols by environmental scientists. Thus, we will be speaking of measuring aerosols in the atmosphere. Measuring Particulates The aerosols in the atmosphere over a city generally have a great variety of sizes of particles: they typically range from 10 angstroms (10 ˚ A= 10 · 10 - 10 m = 10 - 9 m) to 100 microns (100 μ m = 100 · 10 - 6 m = 10 - 4 m) in size. But the effect on our lives is not simple. Indeed, it is typically neither the largest nor the smallest particles which are of most concern in our breathing; rather there is an “optimal” range of sizes, which is a mid-sized range, that causes the greatest problems for our lungs. This issue of the size of the particles has motivated scientists to use the diameter of the particles both in their measurements and in their analyses.

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