Video Lecture: Thermodynamics and the Hydrostatic Equation

teacher talking to the class
Photo by Max Fischer on

A video lecture titled, ‘The Hydrostatic Equation’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This video lecture introduces the hydrostatic equation and explains in detail the concept of ‘virtual temperature’ and its importance in thermodynamics. 

Students will learn about virtual temperature, impact of water vapour on virtual temperature, hydrostatic equation, impact of pressure on hydrostatic equation, and geo potential and its importance in thermodynamics.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is ‘virtual temperature’?
  2. Given the virtual temperature of air is 298K and water vapour content is 1.5%, what is the actual temperature of air?
  3. What role does virtual temperature play in Earth’s Climate System?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture-11: The Hydrostatic Equation
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineAtmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Virtual Temperature, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Hydrostatic Equation
Climate TopicClimate and the Atmosphere; Climate and the Hydrosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (50 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (
Computer SkillsBasic