The physical and chemical phenomena produced by the interaction of solar radiation with the Earth’s atmosphere that are studied by atmospheric scientists are innumerable. Among them, meteorology (the science of weather forecasting) is of vital importance to many aspects of modern human life, including economic and social development. In addition to meteorology, however, there are other branches of atmospheric physics that are of fundamental importance to applied sciences and daily life. It is sufficient to recall how essential the characteristics of the troposphere and ionosphere are to the propagation of electromagnetic waves used for telecommunications, radar in maritime and air navigation, and radio and television.
Among the many fascinating disciplines involved in the study of the various aspects of atmospheric phenomena, the recent past has seen tremendous development in the investigation of the upper atmosphere. This is closely related to the methodology of space science since high-powered rockets and artificial satellites are generally to be used. Air purity is another problem (in which atmospheric science plays a critical role) that has recently been recognized as of vital importance to humanity. The application of physics principles to the study of the atmosphere is often very difficult because of the interconnectedness of phenomena arising from the extent and great complexity of the atmosphere. Effects often occur that are completely negligible in the laboratory or are even deliberately excluded. As a result, atmospheric sciences, and in particular atmospheric physics, have a strong interdisciplinary character involving physicists, meteorologists, aeronomists, chemists, radio technicians, and space scientists. Therefore, the need for specialists in each of these branches to broaden their views without getting lost in the wealth of information and to keep up to date with the rapid development of their own fields, makes the establishment of an international school that regularly organizes high-level courses taught by internationally renowned scientists on topics chosen from among the most interesting and rapidly developing ones vital.