Meteorology, atmospheric science, and climate system science is each classified as an applied science.  That means that these fields are concerned, as much as anything, with practical, real world problems –making better weather forecasts of hurricane Gert or of cloudiness during the next solar eclipse, or making more accurate predictions of future climate states.  These are important and impactful concerns.  But sometimes I think we tend to forget that there is still plenty of new physics to be found in the atmosphere.  I love these kinds of problems; I have several papers in the works that might be considered pure (by which, ironically, i mean, applied) physics.  I was reminded that there are still fundamental aspects of the atmospheric system which we do not understand that are rooted in simple physics by this interesting paper on the momentum budget of a mixture of air and condensing/evaporating rain drops — something most of us who think about clouds on a daily basis have never really considered.  We’ve been studying atmospheric physics for over 100 years and yet there is still plenty we don’t understand.  This is largely because we fail to translate physics we learned about in college to the atmosphere completely, not because the atmosphere is such a special place that it presents particularly unique physics.