A large confined volume in which sunlight or simulated sunlight is allowed to irradiate air mixtures of atmospheric trace gases (hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, etc.) which undergo oxidation. In theory these chambers allow the controlled study of complex reactions which occur in the atmosphere. However, ill-defined wall reactions which generate some molecular and radical species (e.g. HONO
-radicals, etc.) and remove certain products (H2O2
, etc.), the use of reactant concentrations well above those in the atmosphere, ill-defined light intensities and wavelength distribution within the chamber, and other factors peculiar to chamber experiments require that caution be exercised in the extrapolation of results obtained from them to atmospheric systems.
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167. 'Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)' on page 2214 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199062112167)