Physics and the Environment

Physics and the Environment

Kyle Forinash
ISBN: 9781681744926 | PDF ISBN: 9781681744933
Copyright © 2017 | 236 Pages | Publication Date: July, 2017

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Physics and the Environment directly connects the physical world to environmental issues that the world is facing today and will face in the future. It shows how the first and second laws of thermodynamics limit the efficiencies of fossil fuel energy conversions to less than 100%, while also discussing how clever technologies can enhance overall performance. It also extensively discusses renewable forms of energy, their physical constraints and how we must use science and engineering as tools to solve problems instead of opinion and politics.

Dr. Kyle Forinash takes you on a journey of understanding our mature and well developed technologies for using fossil fuel resources and how we are unlikely to see huge gains in their efficiency as well as why their role in climate change ought to be an argument for their replacement sooner rather than later. He also discusses the newest technologies in employing renewable resources and how it is important to understand their physical constrains in order to make a smooth transition to them. An entire chapter is dedicated to energy storage, a core question in renewable energy as well as another chapter on the technical issues of nuclear energy. The book ends with a discussion on how no environmental solution, no matter how clever from a technical aspect, will succeed if there are cheaper alternative, even if those alternatives have undesirable features associated with them.

Table of Contents

1. Population and its effects
2. Energy conservation and the first law of thermodynamics
3. Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics
4. Non-renewable energy
5. Nuclear energy
6. Renewable energy
7. Energy storage
8. Transportation
9. Climate
10. Cost, benefit, risk

About the Author(s)

Kyle Forinash, Indiana University Southeast
Dr. Kyle Forinash is Professor of Physics at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana. He has published technical papers on non-linear dynamics, in addition to pedagogical papers
about the use of computers and cell phones for data collection in student laboratories. He is the author of two books, one in mathematical physics and the other in environmental physics. His current interests include applications of physics to environmental issues and open source computer simulations for physics education.

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