A paper written by the 4th year student of the Faculty of Science and Technology was placed in "Science"
Updated March 17, 2006
A paper entitled “Diffusive Separation of the Lower Atmosphere” written by Mr. Yosuke Adachi as the first author was placed in the Brevia of the 10 March 2006 issue of Science, one of the most prestigious academic journals in the world. It has been rarely reported that a paper with an undergraduate student being the first author is placed in such prestigious journals as Science and Nature.
Mr. Adachi is a 4th year student enrolled in the Department of Applied Chemistry of the Faculty of Science and Technology. During the 3rd year, he participated in an exchange program and studied at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) for nine months. During the nine months of overseas education, he conducted research under Prof. Ralph F. Keeling’s supervision at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of UCSD, and the research findings were spotlighted in the world for science.
Through the research regarding diffusive separation of the lower atmosphere, it was shown by using precise measurements of the Ar/N2 ratio that a detectible separation effect can also occur in near-surface layers, although temperature gradients rather than gravity appear to be the main driving force. It was proved in practice that the two contributors to drive diffusive separation are gravity and temperature. The heavier molecules diffuse toward the center of Earth’s gravitational field and the cold end of a temperature gradient. Within a nocturnal surface inversion layer, both of these processes will tend to cause an accumulation of Ar near the ground. It is expected that the tendency occurs for other heavy constituents such as Kr and Xe and, although not previously reported, this must be a general feature of the atmosphere. Significant achievements of the study are expected to facilitate clarification of the mechanism of global warming.
We hope that Mr. Adachi will exert his originality as scientist with active roles in the new era.