|| PH19010 |
|| ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT |
|| 2001/2002 |
|| Professor Geraint Vaughan |
|| Semester 2 |
|| Dr Lorraine Allen, Dr Philip Cadman |
|| None - module is highly suitable for non Physics students |
|| None |
|| None |
| Course delivery
|| Lecture || 20 lectures |
|| Exam || 2 Hours end of semester examination || 100% |
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.
After taking this module students should be able to:
make use of the fact that energy can be transferred or converted from one form to another
relate the energy transferred to an object by the force exerted on the body and the distance it moves
state the principle of the conservation of energy and apply it to a variety of energy conversions
recognise that there are different units of energy
recall the formulae for kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy of an object
recall the basic atomic and nuclear structure of atoms
understand the basic science of radioactivity, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
understand the nature of heat energy and the difference between heat energy and temperature
understand the different ways in which heat energy is transferred between two bodies
state the first and second Laws of Thermodynamics and their application to the efficiency of heat engines and refrigerators
recognise the function of the basic components of a conventional power station, whether driven by coal, oil or nuclear power
understand the mode of operation of hydroelectric, tidal and wind turbines
be able to make a balanced assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of generating electricity.
understand how pollutants can build up in the atmosphere near the ground
understand the basic processes underlying the acid rain and global warming problems.
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
Hydroelectricity and tidal generation. Wind turbine. Solar energy.
Advantages and disadvantages of different methods of generating electricity, including
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.
** Recommended Text
J.J. Kraushaar and R.A. Ristinen.
Energy and Problems of a Technical Society. Wiley, 1993. ISBN 0-471-57310-8
R.A. Ristinen and J.J. Kraushaar.
Energy and the Environment. Wiley, 1999. ISBN 0-471-1728-0