Scale height

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<div class="definition"><div class="short_definition">The height within which some [[parameter]], such as [[pressure]] or [[density]], decreases by  a factor 1/''e'' in an [[isothermal atmosphere]].</div><br/> <div class="paragraph">The term is most often used in an ionospheric context, but is equally applicable to the [[neutral  atmosphere]]. It is a measure of the effective &ldquo;thickness&rdquo; of an [[atmospheric layer]] and is expressed  mathematically as  <div class="display-formula"><blockquote>[[File:ams2001glos-Se8.gif|link=|center|ams2001glos-Se8]]</blockquote></div> where ''T'', ''m'', and ''g'' are, respectively, the [[absolute]] temperature, the molecular mass, and the [[acceleration]]  due to [[gravity]]; ''R''&#x0002a; is the [[universal gas constant]]; and ''k'' is [[Boltzmann's constant]].</div><br/> </div>
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<div class="definition"><div class="short_definition">The height within which some [[parameter]], such as [[pressure]] or [[density]], decreases by  a factor 1/''e'' in an [[isothermal atmosphere]].</div><br/> <div class="paragraph">The term is most often used in an ionospheric context, but is equally applicable to the [[neutral  atmosphere]]. It is a measure of the effective "thickness" of an [[atmospheric layer]] and is expressed  mathematically as  <div class="display-formula"><blockquote>[[File:ams2001glos-Se8.gif|link=|center|ams2001glos-Se8]]</blockquote></div> where ''T'', ''m'', and ''g'' are, respectively, the [[absolute]] temperature, the molecular mass, and the [[acceleration]]  due to [[gravity]]; ''R''&#x0002a; is the [[universal gas constant]]; and ''k'' is [[Boltzmann's constant]].</div><br/> </div>
 
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Revision as of 18:03, 20 February 2012


scale height

The height within which some parameter, such as pressure or density, decreases by a factor 1/e in an isothermal atmosphere.

The term is most often used in an ionospheric context, but is equally applicable to the neutral atmosphere. It is a measure of the effective "thickness" of an atmospheric layer and is expressed mathematically as
ams2001glos-Se8
where T, m, and g are, respectively, the absolute temperature, the molecular mass, and the acceleration due to gravity; R* is the universal gas constant; and k is Boltzmann's constant.

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