Thomas Leisner, Ph.D.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Thomas Leisner, professor at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), is an experimental physicist who works at the interface of the environment and quantum optics. His research elaborates nanoscale aerosol and cloud processes utilizing world-class facilities that include atmospheric chambers, including the Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere (AIDA) chamber, mass spectrometers, electrodynamic traps and ultrafast laser systems. These facilities allow the elucidation of fundamental chemistry and thermodynamics that control properties of condensed materials and their interactions with gas-phase species. A recent example highlighted the importance of meteoritic smoke particles for the stability of noctilucent clouds, which can be found at altitudes of up to 85 km and are the highest lying clouds in the atmosphere. In addition to serving as Department Head at KIT, he also performs advocacy and advisory roles for the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences, in environmental physics for the German Physical Society, and as part of the review board of the Atmospheric and Maritime Science of the German Science Foundation. Through his work at the AIDA chamber, he has contributed to the cutting edge of mechanistic understanding of cloud-aerosol climate effects such as ice cloud nucleation, water phase transitions at the molecular level and organic aerosol photochemistry.

Awarded Grant(s)

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