How the Earth Works


This set of lecture notes for an introductory course that teaches how the earth works through simple back-of-the-envelope calculations and short problem sets. 

  • The introduction provides a quick look at the planetary context, determines the mass and density of the planets from Kepler’s Laws, uses black body energy balance to determine the average temperature of the earth, and explains the principles of radiometric dating. 
  • The Rock Cycle section explains earth dynamics.
  • A Water Cycle section addresses hydrology and stratigraphy. 
  • A Chemical Cycles and Climate Change section concludes the series.

A pdf of the lecture series is here.