Liberal Program - Core Science Component Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (48 credits)

Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences     Degree: Bachelor of Science

Program Requirements

The B.Sc.; Liberal Program - Core Science Component in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences provides a solid foundation of knowledge relevant for the physical science of the atmosphere and oceans with application to weather and climate. The program may be completed in 45 or 48 credits

Required Courses (21 credits)

  • ATOC 214 Introduction: Physics of the Atmosphere (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : An introduction to key physical processes operating in the atmosphere, designed for students in science and engineering. Topics typically include: composition of the atmosphere; vertical structure; heat transfer; solar and terrestrial radiation and Earth's energy balance; seasonal and daily temperature changes; humidity and the formation of clouds and precipitation; stability of tropospheric air layers; applications of adiabatic charts.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite: CEGEP Physics, or the combination of PHYS 131 and PHYS 142, or permission of instructor.

  • ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Fundamentals of fluid motion on a rotating sphere: Rotating coordinate systems, the Lagrangian time derivative, and equations of motion. The geostrophic approximation and thermal wind balance; departures from geostrophy, such as frictional Ekman layers, inertial oscillations, and the gradient wind balance. The shallow water equations, including potential vorticity conservation, quasigeostrophy, and simple wave solutions.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Kirshbaum, Daniel (Fall)

  • ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Buoyancy, stability, and vertical oscillations. Dry and moist adiabatic processes. Resulting dry and precipitating convective circulations from the small scale to the global scale. Mesoscale precipitation systems from the cell to convective complexes. Severe convection, downbursts, mesocyclones.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Tan, Ivy (Fall)

  • MATH 222 Calculus 3 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Taylor series, Taylor's theorem in one and several variables. Review of vector geometry. Partial differentiation, directional derivative. Extreme of functions of 2 or 3 variables. Parametric curves and arc length. Polar and spherical coordinates. Multiple integrals.

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: Pym, Brent (Fall)

  • MATH 223 Linear Algebra (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Review of matrix algebra, determinants and systems of linear equations. Vector spaces, linear operators and their matrix representations, orthogonality. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization of Hermitian matrices. Applications.

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: Macdonald, Jeremy (Winter)

    • Fall and Winter

    • Prerequisite: MATH 133 or equivalent

    • Restriction: Not open to students in Mathematics programs nor to students who have taken or are taking MATH 236, MATH 247 or MATH 251. It is open to students in Faculty Programs

  • MATH 314 Advanced Calculus (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Derivative as a matrix. Chain rule. Implicit functions. Constrained maxima and minima. Jacobians. Multiple integration. Line and surface integrals. Theorems of Green, Stokes and Gauss. Fourier series with applications.

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • MATH 315 Ordinary Differential Equations (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : First order ordinary differential equations including elementary numerical methods. Linear differential equations. Laplace transforms. Series solutions.

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: Paquette, Courtney (Fall) Kamnitzer, Joel (Winter)

    • Prerequisite: MATH 222.

    • Corequisite: MATH 133.

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken or are taking MATH 325.

Complementary Courses (24-27 credits)

Note: All students are encouraged to consult with the Undergraduate Adviser for help selecting from among the complementary courses.

3-6 credits selected from:

  • ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Laws of motion, geostrophic wind, gradient wind. General circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, local circulation features. Air-sea interaction, including hurricanes and sea-ice formation, extra-tropical weather systems and fronts, role of the atmosphere and oceans in climate.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Fajber, Robert (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisites: MATH 141; ATOC 214, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 219 Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : An introduction to the basic topics in atmospheric chemistry. The fundamentals of the chemical composition of the atmosphere and its chemical reactions. Selected topics such as smog chamber, acid rain, and ozone hole will be examined.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Preston, Thomas (Winter)

3 credits selected from:

  • ATOC 357 Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Laboratory (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Students will gain hands-on experience in several fundamental atmospheric and oceanic science topics through practical experimentation. A diverse set of experiments will be conducted, ranging from in situ observations in Montreal, to remote sensing of clouds and radiation, to laboratory chemistry and water-tank experiments. As a background for these experiments, students will receive training on sensor principles and measurement error analysis, as well as the fundamental physical processes of interest in each experiment. They will learn to operate, and physically interpret data from, various sensors for in situ and remote observation of meteorological variables. Their training will also extend to operational weather observations, analysis, and forecasting.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Prerequisite(s): ATOC 214 or permission of instructor.

  • PHYS 257 Experimental Methods 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : Introductory laboratory work and data analysis as related to mechanics, optics and thermodynamics. Introduction to computers as they are employed for laboratory work, for data analysis and for numerical computation. Previous experience with computers is an asset, but is not required.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Vachon, Brigitte (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 6 hours of laboratory and classroom work

    • Corequisite: PHYS 230 or PHYS 251

3 credits selected from:

  • PHYS 230 Dynamics of Simple Systems (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : Translational motion under Newton's laws; forces, momentum, work/energy theorem. Special relativity; Lorentz transforms, relativistic mechanics, mass/energy equivalence. Topics in rotational dynamics. Noninertial frames.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Guo, Hong (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisite: CEGEP Physics or PHYS 131.

    • Corequisite: MATH 222

    • Restriction: Not open to students taking or having passed PHYS 251

  • PHYS 251 Honours Classical Mechanics 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : Newton's laws, work energy, angular momentum. Harmonic oscillator, forced oscillations. Inertial forces, rotating frames. Central forces, centre of mass, planetary orbits, Kepler's laws.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Chiang, Hsin Cynthia (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisite: CEGEP physics or PHYS 131.

    • Corequisite: MATH 222

    • Restriction: Not open to students taking or having taken PHYS 230.

3 credits selected from:

  • PHYS 232 Heat and Waves (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : The laws of thermodynamics and their consequences. Thermodynamics of P-V-T systems and simple heat engines. Free, driven, and damped harmonic oscillators. Coupled systems and normal modes. Fourier methods. Wave motion and dispersion. The wave equation.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Hilke, Michael (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisites: CEGEP Physics or PHYS 142, and CEGEP chemistry or CHEM 120, and PHYS 230.

    • Restriction: Not open to students taking or having passed PHYS 253

  • PHYS 253 Thermal Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : Energy, work, heat; first law. Temperature, entropy; second law. Absolute zero; third law. Equilibrium, equations of state, gases, liquids, solids, magnets; phase transitions.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Grutter, Peter H (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisites: CEGEP physics or PHYS 131, and CEGEP chemistry or CHEM 120.

    • Corequisite: MATH 222

    • Restriction: Not open to students taking or having taken PHYS 232.

12-15 credits selected from (at least 6 of which must be ATOC):

  • ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Basic notions of radiative transfer and applications of satellite and radar data to mesoscale and synoptic-scale systems are discussed. Emphasis will be put on the contribution of remote sensing to atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Tan, Ivy (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite: ATOC 215

  • ATOC 512 Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Equations of motion used to study waves, turbulence, and the general circulation of the atmosphere and oceans. Standard approximations to these equations, including the Boussinesq, primitive, quasigeostrohic, and rotating shallow water equations. Emphasis is on effects for which rotation and/or buoyancy play essential roles. Simple classes of flow, e.g., geostrophic, thermal wind, Ekman, and inertial oscillations.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Straub, David N (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 513 Waves and Stability (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Description of the principal wave types and instability mechanisms of geophysical fluid dynamics. Geostrophic adjustment, wave dispersion, the WKBJ approximation. Wave types considered include (internal) inertia-gravity waves, planetary Rossby waves, and the equatorial and coastal wave guides. Instabilities considered include inertial, symmetric, barotropic, baroclinic, and Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Straub, David N (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere and Oceans (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Application of statistical and semi-empirical methods to the study of geophysical turbulence. Reynolds' equations, dimensional analysis, and similarity. The surface and planetary boundary layers. Oceanic mixed layer. Theories of isotropic two- and three- dimensional turbulence: energy and enstrophy inertial ranges. Beta turbulence.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, a previous course in fluid dynamics (such as ATOC 512), or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 517 Boundary Layer Meteorology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Turbulence and turbulent fluxes, atmospheric stability, Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, surface roughness and surface fluxes, power law and logarithmic wind profiles including their application in wind energy and engineering sectors, convective and stably stratified boundary layers, internal boundary layer development, large-eddy simulations, fundamentals of boundary-layer parameterization in numerical models, and introduction to urban boundary layers.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • ATOC 519 Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Exploration of the field of atmospheric chemistry that is identified as the significant driver of climate change and the cause of millions of premature death every year. Discussion of cutting-edge novel technologies for observing and quantifying pollutants (from ground to satellite) using artificial intelligence, the fate of emerging contaminants (e.g., nano/microplastics, trace metals, persistent organic), and modelling of atmospheric and interfacial processes. Examination of topics like atmospheric gaseous and multiphase components like bioaerosols. Study of photochemical, photophysical, and aerosol nucleation processes that affect air quality, climate change, and ecosystem health.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Ariya, Parisa A (Fall)

  • ATOC 521 Cloud Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : A detailed overview of the environmental factors and microphysical processes involved in the formation of clouds and precipitation. Topics typically include: cloud observations, atmospheric thermodynamics, environmental stability regimes, convection, the microphysics of the formation of cloud droplets and ice crystals, initiation of precipitation, aerosol–cloud interactions.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Zuend, Andreas (Winter)

    • 3 hours

    • Prerequisites (Undergraduates): ATOC 315, MATH 314, and MATH 315, or permission of instructor.

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken ATOC 621.

  • ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Solar and terrestrial radiation. Interactions of molecules, aerosols, clouds, and precipitation with radiation of various wavelengths. Radiative transfer through the clear and cloudy atmosphere. Radiation budgets. Satellite and ground-based measurements. Climate implications.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : A detailed overview of the climate and the global energy balance. Topics typically include: energy balance at top of the atmosphere and at the surface, poleward energy flux, the role of clouds, climate and atmospheric/oceanic general circulations, natural variability of the climate system, evolution of climate and climate change.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Fajber, Robert (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 315 or permission of instructor

    • Corequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 312 or ATOC 512 or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Analysis of current meteorological data. Description of a geostrophic, hydrostatic atmosphere. Ageostrophic circulations and hydrostatic instabilities. Kinematic and thermodynamic methods of computing vertical motions. Tropical and extratropical condensation rates. Barotropic and equivalent barotropic atmospheres.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Gyakum, John Richard (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lecture; 2 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 541 Synoptic Meteorology 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Analysis of current meteorological data. Quasi-geostrophic theory, including the omega equation, as it relates to extratropical cyclone and anticyclone development. Frontogenesis and frontal circulations in the lower and upper troposphere. Cumulus convection and its relationship to tropical and extratropical circulations. Diagnostic case study work.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lecture; 2 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 312 and ATOC 540 or permission of instructor.

  • ATOC 546 Current Weather Discussion (1 credit)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Half-hour briefing on atmospheric general circulation and current weather around the world using satellite data, radar observations, conventional weather maps, and analyses and forecasts produced by computer techniques.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 2 hours

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 540 or permission of instructor

    • Restriction: Graduate students and final-year Honours Atmospheric Science students. Others by special permission.

  • ATOC 548 Mesoscale Meteorology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Theory of meteorologically important mesoscale phenomena including mesoscale instabilities, cumulus convection and its organization (including thunderstorms, squall lines, and other forms of severe weather), internal gravity waves, and topographically forced flows. Application of theory to the physical interpretation of observations and numerical simulations.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Romanic, Djordje (Winter)

  • ATOC 557 Research Methods: Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : The analysis of observational and modeling data, and the advantages and limitations of different data. Different analysis methods including regression, linear stochastic processes autocovariance and spectral analysis, principle component analysis, inverse problems and data assimilation, commonly used in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Fajber, Robert (Winter)

  • ATOC 558 Numerical Methods and Laboratory (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Numerical simulation of atmospheric and oceanic processes. Finite difference, finite element, and spectral modelling techniques. Term project including computer modelling of convection or large-scale flows in the atmosphere or ocean.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Kirshbaum, Daniel (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 1 hour lecture; 4 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 312 or ATOC 512, or permission of instructor

    • Restriction: Graduate students and final-year Honours Atmospheric Science students. Others by special permission.

  • ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Major topics in physics and dynamics of the ocean including seawater properties, density and equation of state, sea ice, air-sea-ice exchanges, mixing and stability in the ocean, wind-driven and thermohaline circulations. Observational techniques and numerical models of the ocean, which include some data analysis and literature review.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Tremblay, Bruno (Fall)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 512 or permission of instructor

    • Restriction: Graduate students and final-year Honours Atmospheric Science students. Others by special permission.

  • COMP 208 Computer Programming for Physical Sciences and Engineering (3 credits)

    Offered by: Computer Science (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Computer Science (Sci) : Programming and problem solving in a high level computer language: variables, expressions, types, functions, conditionals, loops, objects and classes. Introduction to algorithms such as searching and sorting. Modular software design, libraries, file input and output, debugging. Emphasis on applications in Physical Sciences and Engineering, such as root finding, numerical integration, diffusion, Monte Carlo methods.

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: Langer, Michael; Prémont-Schwarz, Isabeau (Fall) Prémont-Schwarz, Isabeau (Winter)

    • 3 hours

    • Corequisite: MATH 133 and MATH 141, or equivalents.

    • Restrictions: Not open to students who have taken or are taking COMP 202, COMP 204, orGEOG 333; not open to students who have taken or are taking COMP 206 or COMP 250.

    • COMP 202 is intended as a general introductory course, while COMP 208 is intended for students with sufficient math background and in (non-life) science or engineering fields.

  • MATH 203 Principles of Statistics 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Examples of statistical data and the use of graphical means to summarize the data. Basic distributions arising in the natural and behavioural sciences. The logical meaning of a test of significance and a confidence interval. Tests of significance and confidence intervals in the one and two sample setting (means, variances and proportions).

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: Stephens, David; Correa, Jose Andres (Fall) Sajjad, Alia (Winter)

    • No calculus prerequisites

    • Restriction: This course is intended for students in all disciplines. For extensive course restrictions covering statistics courses see Section 3.6.1 of the Arts and of the Science sections of the calendar regarding course overlaps.

    • You may not be able to receive credit for this course and other statistic courses. Be sure to check the Course Overlap section under Faculty Degree Requirements in the Arts or Science section of the Calendar. Students should consult http://www.mcgill.ca/students/transfercredit for information regarding transfer credits for this course.

  • MATH 319 Partial Differential Equations (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : First order equations, geometric theory; second order equations, classification; Laplace, wave and heat equations, Sturm-Liouville theory, Fourier series, boundary and initial value problems.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Lin, Jessica (Winter)

  • PHYS 333 Thermal and Statistical Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : Introductory equilibrium statistical mechanics. Quantum states, probabilities, ensemble averages. Entropy, temperature, Boltzmann factor, chemical potential. Photons and phonons. Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions; applications.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Rutledge, Robert (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisite: PHYS 232

    • Restriction: Not open to students taking or having passed PHYS 362

  • PHYS 340 Majors Electricity and Magnetism (3 credits)

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : The electrostatic field and scalar potential. Dielectric properties of matter. Energy in the electrostatic field. Methods for solving problems in electrostatics. The magnetic field. Induction and inductance. Energy in the magnetic field. Magnetic properties of matter. Maxwell's equations. The dipole approximation.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Liu, Adrian (Fall)

Faculty of Science—2024-2025 (last updated Apr. 3, 2024) (disclaimer)
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