The Science of Energy : The Great Courses: Earth Sciences

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Michael E. Wysession
  • Series: The Great Courses: Earth Sciences
  • 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Energy is, without a doubt, the very foundation of the universe. It's the engine that powers life and fuels the evolution of human civilization.
To better put into perspective the various issues surrounding energy in the 21st century, you need to understand the essential science behind how energy works. And you need a reliable source whose focus is on giving you the facts you need to form your own educated opinions.
In the 24 riveting lectures of The Science of Energy: Resources and Power Explained, expert geophysicist Professor Wysession presents an unbiased investigation into the energy sources that power our world. With clear and easy-to-follow explanations that make scientific and mathematical concepts approachable and understandable, this course is a marvelous window into the inner workings of energy that will keep you constantly engaged. You'll examine a wide portfolio of energy sources, how these sources work, the engineering marvels that adapt them to human needs, the economic and environmental consequences of using them, and more. Whatever exciting changes await us in the coming decades (from food production to public transportation to industrial manufacturing), they'll most certainly require lots of power. For this reason and many more, this course imparts essential information for any well-informed citizen of the world - whether you're powering a major city or simply turning on the light.
The world-spanning civilizations that we have built rely on a vast, dependable, and lasting supply of energy. The choices we make have profound consequences for how the world will continue to develop. Get the facts you need to choose well.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Comprehensive picture of energy resources

I bought this book with a hope of understanding more about the processes involved in recovering energy, and the strengths of the various resources and forms. It is such a hotly contested topic, which rarely comes with clean cut information, that it's easy to get a biased opinion on the area.

This certainly isn't the case here. The professor is very balanced, and from the start of the audiobook, he asks you to take the same approach, leaving aside any preconceptions. After introducing some basic physics (don't be put off here, it's very light), he then introduces the various energy forms one by one. For each form, he then describes the physical process involved in obtaining the energy and various aspects of this process (the efficiency, availability of production materials, safety, etc). It is easy to see how complex the picture is after just a couple of lectures, and to see that the strengths and weaknesses vary greatly. In particular, while it's clear that a move away from fossil fuels is desirable in the long run, the change is going to be slow, and he gives several reasons to suspect this.

By far, my favourite section was the 3 lectures on nuclear energy. The descriptions of the processes involved / challenges faced are really exciting, and I have no doubt I'll listen to this part of the book again. I also enjoyed various `thought experiments' he runs at several parts of the book, like `How much of the US land would be required obtain the entire countries energy needs from solar power?'.

I definitely think that the book has given me a bigger appreciation and understanding for the topic, and would recommend it to anyone who would like to know more. I should say, I found that some parts of the series require some effort, as the material is quite dry (unavoidably, I think) in some parts. I'm not saying that the whole book was a slog or anything, I'm definitely happy I read it, but it requires quite a lot of attention, as for the most part it is quite heavy on information.
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- Eoin

great course

fascinating and brilliantly delivered lectures. great balance of general and detailed info on the uses and costs of energy.
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- T. J. White

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-03-2016
  • Publisher: The Great Courses