Module Identifier PH19010  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Tudor Jenkins  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Geraint Vaughan, Dr Philip Cadman  
Pre-Requisite None - module is highly suitable for on Physics students  
Co-Requisite None  
Mutually Exclusive None  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
Assessment Exam   End of semester examination   100%  

Brief description
Energy is a vital resource in our society. Its use and misuse has implications for the environment, and these issues have assumed dramatic proportions recently. This module discusses the fundamental physics behind energy resources, both conventional and alternative, in order to provide a balanced view of environmental implications. In this approach, the interdisciplinary nature of the subject is evident, and the module gives special emphasis to changes in the atmosphere - including acid rain and the greenhouse effect. The module is suitable for undergraduates of any discipline.

Learning outcomes
After taking this module students should be able to:

Additional learning activities
In addition to formal lecturing methods, teaching will also be effected by the use of videos, project work, and, if resources allow, a trip to centres of power production and research

Outline syllabus
Basic Physics:
Energy and Power. Conservation of Energy. Forms of energy
Structure of the atom and the nucleus
Radioactivity, fission and fusion
Theory of heat engines and the laws of thermodynamics
Heat engines and heat pumps
Heat transfer - conduction, convection and radiation

Conversion of energy:
Types of energy and energy conversion.
Comparison of energy content and efficiency of different fuels.
Use of energy in society.
How turbines generate electricity. Coal, oil and gas power stations
Nuclear energy
Hydroelectricity and tidal generation. Wind turbine. Solar energy.
Advantages and disadvantages of different methods of generating electricity, including
Nuclear fusion

Environmental Issues:
Environmental risks of nuclear power
Environmental consequences of burning fossil fuels
(i) Basic meteorology of burning plumes,
(ii) Acid rain,
(iii) Global warming: basic principles and feedback mechanisms
(iv) Use of models for prediction.

Reading Lists
** Recommended Text
J.J. Kraushner and R.A. Ristinen. Energy and Problems of a Technical Society. Wiley