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Aerosol Physics Group

Mission

Investigation of the formation and life cycle of atmospheric aerosol, and its impact on climate Aerosols are solid or liquid particles suspended in air ranging in size from 0.01 microns to several tens of microns. Most aerosols occur naturally in the form of windblown dust and sand, volcanic eruptions, salt from sea spray. Other anthropogenic aerosols originate from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. Some aerosols are formed in the atmosphere from various gaseous precursors.

We perform experiments to better understand these formation mechanisms. We are interested in the various aerosol aging processes which change the particle's climate relevant properties. An important activity is the investigation of the interaction of aerosols with water. We want to better understand how the various natural and anthropogenic aerosol particles influence the properties of clouds (e.g. which particle fraction acts as cloud condensation nuclei or ice nuclei).