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Centre for Atmospheric Science

The Latham Laboratories

Simon Engineering Building
The Simon Engineering Building on Oxford Road, Manchester where the Centre for Atmospheric Science is located.

The Centre for Atmospheric Science has a suite of well equipped modern labs, known as the Latham Laboratories (named after the founder of the Centre for Atmospheric Science, Professor John Latham) located in the Simon Engineering Building. These labs were completed in 2007 and were designed specifically for use by the centre. These new facilities represent a significant increase in the amount of high quality lab space available to the centre, which was desperately needed as a result of recent high profile staff appointments. Major facilities in this development include a three story ice cloud chamber, a large aerosol and trace gas lab, an aerosol chamber, laser safety rooms, dark room, lidar lab, cloud microphysics lab, surface exchange lab, mechanical workshop, rooftop space, and storage and field preparation areas. The centre also has several mobile labs and access to rooftop platforms on several other buildings on the University of Manchester campus. The Centre also makes use of other facilities within the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, especially for chemical analysis of filter samples by ion chromatography and environmental scanning electron microscopy.

Our labs are used to study a variety of atmospheric processes under controlled conditions, with cloud microphysical processes, aerosol formation and processing, and gas phase chemical kinetics being major areas of laboratory research. Much of the instrumentation used to conduct these laboratory studies is also deployed during field experiments, however a suite of dedicated laboratory instruments is gradually being built up which will allow laboratory experiments to be conducted more independently of the centre's busy field schedule.

Measurements of the atmosphere in an urban environment can be made directly from within our laboratories, with the main aerosol lab being equipped with and external inlet system, and the roof platforms being suitable for mounting a variety of instruments. Further the lidar lab has a roof hatch allowing remote sensing measurements of properties of the air above Manchester. The mobile laboratory facilities have been deployed around the world in support of major field measurement projects.

Our labs are also used extensively to support field measurement projects, for sample analysis and for instrument development, testing and calibration. Lab and field work is also supported by the well equipped mechanical workshop and experienced technicians.