Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), 2013 Spring, Location: Flora Dungan Humanities (FDH) 105??? or Robert L. Bigelow Physics (BPB) 217???, Time: TR 2:30--3:45, 3 hours, 3 credit hours,

Instructor: Prof. George Rhee

Sections and Links

  1. Course Description
  2. Lectures
  3. Course Resource Sites
  4. Articles

  1. Course Description
  2. This is a survey course on energy issues, including the challenges facing us today. Simple physics will be introduced to analyze production and consumption of energy and their impact on the environment. The level is set for beginning students in any field.

    Credits 3

    David J. C. Mackay (1967--): Sustainable Energy---Without the Hot Air, 370 pages. See also HTML version.

    Online descriptions:

    1. Advertizement: Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment
    2. Catalog: Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment Use keyword "energy".
    3. MyUNLV: Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment Click down to the course description for the upcoming/current semester.
    4. Physics Dept. Site: Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment But there's nothing there.

  3. Lectures
    1. A placeholder

  4. Course Resource Sites
    1. A placeholder
    2. David J. C. Mackay (1967--): Sustainable Energy---Without the Hot Air, 370 pages. See also HTML version
    3. Hall & Klitgaard, 2012, Energy and the Wealth of Nations Online book.
    4. Formerly Energy Bulletin.
    5. The Oil Drum
    6. Wikipedia
      1. A placeholder
      2. atmospheric carbon dioxide
      3. global warming
      4. money supply
      5. peak fossil fuel
      6. peak oil
      7. solar cell
      8. solar energy
      9. sustainability
      10. The Limits to Growth book, and as a concept the limits to growth.
      11. World energy consumption

  5. Articles
  6. These are recent articles of interest in the general area of sustainability.

    The symbol ♠ is used to mark degree of interest in the opinion of yours truly: the more ♠'s the more interest.

    Of course, every article must be taken cum grano salis.

    1. Global warming
      1. Thomas F. Stocker, 2013jan18, Climate Change: The Closing Door of Climate Targets Simple parameterized model suggests that we'd better start reducing carbon emissions soon to stop an increase of more than 2 degrees C. How soon depends on how fast we decease. Of course, peak fossil fuel might save us from ourselves. See also atmospheric carbon dioxide, particularly the graph of global carbon emissions. For a more up-to-date, but not same-thing, graph see TRENDS IN GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS 2012 report, Netherlands: scroll down to page 11. Of course, peak fossil fuel might save us from ourselves. Peak fossil fuel by one person model---but remember predictions are always wrong---occurs in about 2025 followed by a decline similar to the rise (see Figure 6 in Luis de Souza, 2008feb28, Olduvai revisited 2008). Taking the Stocker and de Souza model at face value---which is perilous---it looks like total increase in global temperature will max out at 2.5 degrees C---we're save from the worst---maybe.---♠♠♠
    2. Limits to growth
      1. Jeremy Grantham, 2011apr09, Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever Yours truly thinks this is the empirical evidence that the day of limits to growth began about 2002 pretty much on the turn of the century.---♠♠♠
    3. Money
      1. Chris Martenson, 2012apr17, The Trouble with Money On hidden inflation, really scary. Money could suddenly lose its value. A paradigm shift in economics is coming. A key word is MZM money.---♠♠
    4. Peak oil
      1. Chris Martenson, 2013jan17, The really, really big picture: There isn't going to be enough net energy for the economic growth we want Are we at peak oil now? Martenson thinks so, but others think it is decades off.---♠♠
      2. Roger Blanchard, 2012nov21, A Closer Look at Bakken and U.S. Oil Production Seems a reasonable argument for Bakken formation oil fields will peak about 2014 and that overall US oil production will have its 2nd peak soon thereafter.---♠
    5. Solar energy
      1. Robert Service, 2012jan18, Performance of Nanowire Solar Cells on the Rise 14 % efficiency for nano-wires solar cell. Well behind silicon, but cheaper. But can it be scaled up for commercial use cheaply?. Silicon crystal cells still dominant against all competitors---♠
    6. A placeholder

Maintained (if that is the word) by David J. Jeffery, Email:

This file was updated (but probably not for the last time) 2012nov30 Friday