Hands-On, Minds-On Meteorology
Description | Programming | Operation

Lifting Air (Dry)


The Lifting Air (Dry) program allows students to view a microscopic piece of dry air and manipulate it's pressure (altitude) to see how the molecule's temperature and volume react.

click for whole shot



The primary objective is to discover the relationships between pressure, volume, and temperature as well as noticing the relationship between decreasing pressure and increases altitude (and vice versa). A secondary objective is to use the graphing tool to graph the pressure, volume, and temperature relationships.




The Dry version of this program shows a volume of air with generic 'dry air' molecules present. Students then change the pressure of the parcel, thereby changing its altitude (unmeasured), temperature, and pressure, and density percentage. The density percentage is used because the volume size is supposed to be small, but abstract. Therefore, the program is initialized with a preset density, and then changes to the volume of the parcel cause relative (hence percentage) changes to the density.

The theory behind the parcel in Lifting Air (Dry) program can be found in the parcel controlling class ParcelSet*


See ParcelSet*


See ParcelSet*


See ParcelSet*



Running the Program

  • Click the link for Lifting Air (Dry).
  • Change pressure by sliding the scrollbar or by clicking and dragging the parcel up and down. (Range: 1000-50mb)
  • Start and Stop the molecules by clicking the appropriate button.
  • Enable the Graphing Tool by click the appropriate button

Extra Knowledge



Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Created by Dan Bramer: Last Modified 07/27/2004
send questions/comments to bramer@atmos.uiuc.edu