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Atmospheric nucleation and growth in the CLOUD experiment at CERN

Kirkby, Jasper (2013) Atmospheric nucleation and growth in the CLOUD experiment at CERN. In: Nucleation and Atmospheric Aerosols. AIP Conference Proceedings. No.1527. American Institute of Physics , Melville, NY, pp. 278-286. ISBN 978-0-7354-1152-4.

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Nucleation and growth of new particles in the atmosphere is thought to account for up to half of all cloud condensation nuclei. However the vapours and formation rates that underly this process are poorly understood, due both to the ultra low concentrations of participating vapours in the presence of high backgrounds and to the many sources of uncontrolled variability in the atmosphere. In consequence, laboratory measurements made under clean and precisely controlled conditions play an important role in identifying the vapours responsible and quantifying their associated nucleation and growth rates. The CLOUD experiment at CERN is studying the nucleation and growth of aerosol particles, and their interaction with clouds, in a 3 m stainless steel aerosol/cloud chamber. The experiment is optimised to study the influence of ions, for which the CERN Proton Synchrotron (PS) provides an adjustable source of 'cosmic rays'. Extraordinary care has been paid in the design and construction of CLOUD and its associated systems-gas, thermal, UV and electric field-to suppress contaminants at the technological limit. The unprecedented low contamination achieved in the CLOUD chamber has revealed that atmospheric nucleation and growth is sensitive to certain atmospheric vapours at mixing ratios of only a few parts-per-trillion by volume (pptv). Here we provide an overview of the design of CLOUD and its experimental programme over four years of operation at CERN.

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Additional Information:© 2013 AIP Publishing LLC. Published online 24 May 2013. We would like to thank CERN for supporting CLOUD with important technical and financial resources, and for providing a particle beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron. This research has received funding from the EC Seventh Framework Programme (Marie Curie Initial Training Network “CLOUD-ITN” no. 215072, MC-ITN “CLOUD-TRAIN” no. 316662, and ERC-Advanced “ATMNUCLE” grant no. 227463), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (project nos. 01LK0902A and 01LK1222A), the Swiss National Science Foundation (project nos. 200020_135307 and 206620_130527), the Academy of Finland (Center of Excellence project no. 1118615), the Academy of Finland (135054, 133872, 251427, 139656, 139995, 137749, 141217, 141451), the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, the Nessling Foundation, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; project no. P19546 and L593), the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (project no. CERN/FP/116387/2010), the Swedish Research Council, Vetenskapsrådet (grant 2011-5120), the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grants 08-02-91006-CERN and 12-02-91522-CERN), and the U.S. National Science Foundation (grants AGS1136479 and CHE1012293).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Marie Curie Fellowship215072
Marie Curie Fellowship316662
European Research Council (ERC)227463
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)01LK0902A
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)01LK1222A
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)200020_135307
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)206620_130527
Academy of Finland1118615
Academy of Finland135054
Academy of Finland133872
Academy of Finland251427
Academy of Finland139656
Academy of Finland139995
Academy of Finland137749
Academy of Finland141217
Academy of Finland141451
Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Nessling FoundationUNSPECIFIED
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP19546
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsL593
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)CERN/FP/116387/2010
Swedish Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Russian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Russian Foundation for Basic Research08-02-91006-CERN
Russian Foundation for Basic Research12-02-91522-CERN
Subject Keywords:Atmospheric aerosol, nucleation, particle growth, clouds, sulphuric acid, ammonia, dimethylamine, alpha-pinene, ions, galactic cosmic rays, CERN CLOUD experiment
Series Name:AIP Conference Proceedings
Issue or Number:1527
Classification Code:PACS: 92.60.Mt, 64.60.Q-, 82.33.Tb, 96.50.S
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160421-152723775
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Atmospheric nucleation and growth in the CLOUD experiment at CERN Kirkby, Jasper and CLOUD Collaboration, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1527, 278-286 (2013), DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66378
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Apr 2016 23:59
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:57

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