▪ Abstract 

The hydroxyl radical, OH, is the most important cleansing agent in the Earth's atmosphere, removing the majority of trace gases by oxidation, including greenhouse gases and CFC replacements. It is intimately involved in the chemistry that generates photochemical smog, which includes many substances harmful to health, such as ozone and particulate matter. In this review, the technique of laser-induced fluorescence for the detection of OH in the atmosphere is described, using as an example the fluorescence assay by gas expansion (FAGE) instrument developed at the University of Leeds. The comparison of measured OH concentrations at a given field site with those calculated by an atmospheric model, which is a mathematical representation of the underlying chemistry, provides one of the best methods to test whether the key chemical and physical processes are understood. Examples are given for field measurements made in clean and polluted environments.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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