LAC - Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry
The Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC), established 1 January 2000, is a laboratory of the Energy and Environment Research Division (ENE) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI).
Understanding the processes determining the gas and aerosol chemistry and aerosol physics in the atmosphere in order to determine (1) the impact of energy use on the atmosphere and (2) the impact of pollution on air quality, human health, local weather and climate change.
Our laboratory consists of four interacting groups that operates cutting-edge facilities and instrumentations in the lab and in the field. We run three National facilities, two ambient observatories and an atmospheric chamber facility, that are foreseen to be included in the ACTRIS European research infrastructure. We study the impact of anthropogenic air pollution across environments ranging from cities in Europe and developing countries (e.g. India and China) to pristine areas (e.g. in polar regions and in the free troposphere). We are continuously measuring key climate variables relevant for aerosol properties at the landmark high-alpine Jungfraujoch research site in Switzerland. We simulate the processes occurring in the atmosphere in our smog chamber facility and during experiments at the CLOUD chamber at CERN. Field and laboratory data are interpreted and air pollution sources are quantified with numerical and statistical models. We collaborate with toxicologists, epidemiologists and medical doctors to understand the impact of air pollution on health.
News & Highlights
Saharan dust storms played havoc with weather predictions. Invertible neural networks to retrieve aerosol properties from light scattering data may help.
In order to better understand climate change in the Arctic and design effective mitigation measures, scientists at EPFL and PSI have studied the aerosols in a region spanning from Russia to Canada.
Andrea Baccarini, former member of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, awarded the ETH Medal for his PhD thesis
Andrea Baccarini, a former PhD student at the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, has been awarded the ETH Medal for his thesis investigating aerosol formation in the Arctic and Antarctic and the role aerosols play in climate change.
PSI is involved in the development of a breath test that can be used to diagnose asthma. Imad El Haddad explains why such a test could be extremely useful – especially for children.