MEASUREMENTS OF AEROSOL PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES
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Tiny liquid or solid particles suspended in the air with sizes ranging between several nanometers to several microns, collectively referred to as aerosol particles, are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and have been shown to affect a planet’s radiative budget. Aerosol particles have the ability to directly reflect and absorb solar radiation leading to a cooling or heating the planet’s surface, respectively (aerosol direct effect). Aerosol particles can also indirectly affect the net radiative forcing through water uptake and cloud formation prior to reflecting and absorbing solar radiation (aerosol indirect effect). In my dissertation, I utilize lab-based measurements to measure the optical properties of mineral dust and Martian dust simulants, and quantify the water uptake and cloud condensation nuclei activity of secondary organic aerosols (SOA), and water-soluble organic compounds in various mixing states and relative humidities. This body of work provides directly-measured values that may reduce uncertainties in climate prediction when used as inputs in future climate and air quality models.