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Quantum Mechanics and Climate Change


A lecture that describes how quantum mechanics plays a role in understanding Earth’s climate systems and climate change. This lecture by Brad Marston, Brown University, uses Richard Feynman’s double slit experiment to explain how changing concentrations of greenhouse gases could potentially affect Earth’s climate.

Students will be provided an overview of several key concepts in physics, such as the photoelectric effect, and some of the important equations used. They will further be introduced to the changing levels of CO2, atmospheric dynamics, how temperatures are measured, and how melting sea ice is affecting the circulation of wind, among other things.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. State the Photoelectric Effect along with its equation.
  2. Discuss the equation used to measure temperatures on different planets.
  3. Discuss how the melting of ice affects the circulation of winds?
About Tool
Tool Name How Quantum Physics Can Help Us Fight Climate Change
Discipline Physics, Earth Sciences 
Topic(s) in Discipline Earth’s Climate, Planetary Energy Balance, Planetary Climate, Quantum Physics, Atmospheric Physics, Photoelectric Effect, Photons, Quantum Mechanics, Atmospheric Dynamics, Planck’s Constant, Richard Feynman Experiment
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of tool Video (77 mins)
Grade Level Undergraduate, Graduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Brad Marston, Brown University 
Hosted at YouTube
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic


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