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The Physics of Energy

$85.99 (X)

textbook Award Winner
  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from June 2024
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107016651

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About the Authors
  • The Physics of Energy provides a comprehensive and systematic introduction to the scientific principles governing energy sources, uses, and systems. This definitive textbook traces the flow of energy from sources such as solar power, nuclear power, wind power, water power, and fossil fuels through its transformation in devices such as heat engines and electrical generators, to its uses including transportation, heating, cooling, and other applications. The flow of energy through the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, and systems issues including storage, electric grids, and efficiency and conservation are presented in a scientific context along with topics such as radiation from nuclear power and climate change from the use of fossil fuels. Students, scientists, engineers, energy industry professionals, and concerned citizens with some mathematical and scientific background who wish to understand energy systems and issues quantitatively will find this textbook of great interest.

    • Presents the scientific principles governing energy sources, uses, and systems in a clear and logical way so the reader is able to understand the basic principles through concrete connections to energy systems and to apply them in a variety of contexts
    • Key concept boxes appear throughout the book allowing the reader to immediately identify the main ideas discussed in each chapter
    • Includes end-chapter problems, providing readers with an integrated learning experience by solving problems as they move through the book
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    • Winner, 2019 PROSE Award for Textbook/Physical Sciences and Mathematics

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This magnificent book provides an astonishingly comprehensive, yet deep and accurate, coverage of the physics of energy. It also introduces much of the engineering, and some of the chemistry and biology. As well as being a superb text for those who are new to the subject, it will be an invaluable reference for experienced researchers seeking to refresh, deepen or broaden their knowledge and understanding.' Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS, Director of Energy Research, Oxford University and Director General of CERN 1994–98

    'Jaffe and Taylor have produced a masterpiece that lays out the scientific foundations of energy sources, uses and systems - from fossil fuels to geothermal, engines to wind turbines, electric grid to climate change. I can only wish that The Physics of Energy had been available twenty years earlier when I first had responsibility for the US Department of Energy science and energy programs without the benefit of this extraordinary resource!' Ernest J. Moniz, formerly the 13th United States Secretary of Energy and Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    'If your task was to jump-start civilization, but had access to only one book, then The Physics of Energy would be your choice. Professors Taylor and Jaffe have written a comprehensive, thorough, and relevant treatise. It’s an energizing read as a stand-alone book, but it should also be a course, offered at every college, lest we mismanage our collective role as shepherds of our energy-hungry, energy-dependent civilization.' Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History

    'I have long wished for a single textbook that could explain energy conversion as it occurs in nature and is utilized in our industrial and digital world in a comprehensive, accurate, and engaging way. The Physics of Energy is that book. It covers its subject matter with depth, breadth, care for precision, and clarity.' Julia Mikhailova, Physics Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107016651
    • length: 894 pages
    • dimensions: 283 x 225 x 44 mm
    • weight: 2.66kg
    • contains: 600 b/w illus. 100 colour illus.
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from June 2024
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Basic Energy Physics and Uses:
    1. Introduction
    2. Mechanical energy
    3. Electromagnetic energy
    4. Waves and light
    5. Thermodynamics I: heat and thermal energy
    6. Heat transfer
    7. Introduction to quantum physics
    8. Thermodynamics II: entropy and temperature
    9. Energy in matter
    10. Thermal energy conversion
    11. Internal combustion engines
    12. Phase-change energy conversion
    13. Thermal power and heat extraction cycles
    Part II. Energy Sources:
    14. The forces of nature
    15. Quantum phenomena in energy systems
    16. An overview of nuclear power
    17. Structure, properties and decays of nuclei
    18. Nuclear energy processes: fission and fusion
    19. Nuclear fission reactors and nuclear fusion experiments
    20. Ionizing radiation
    21. Energy in the universe
    22. Solar energy: solar production and radiation
    23. Solar energy: solar radiation on Earth
    24. Solar thermal energy
    25. Photovoltaic solar cells
    26. Biological energy
    27. Ocean energy flow
    28. Wind: a highly variable resource
    29. Fluids – the basics
    30. Wind turbines
    31. Energy from moving water: hydro, wave, tidal, and marine current power
    32. Geothermal energy
    33. Fossil fuels
    Part III. Energy System Issues and Externalities:
    34. Energy and climate
    35. Earth's climate: past, present, and future
    36. Energy efficiency, conservation, and changing energy sources
    37. Energy storage
    38. Electricity generation and transmission.

  • Authors

    Robert L. Jaffe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Robert L. Jaffe holds the Morningstar Chair in the Department of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was formerly director of MIT's Center for Theoretical Physics and recently chaired the American Physical Society's Panel on Public Affairs. Jaffe is best known for his research on the quark substructure of the proton and other strongly interacting particles, on exotic states of matter, and on the quantum structure of the vacuum. He received his B.A. from Princeton and his Ph.D. from Stanford. In recognition of his contributions to teaching and course development at MIT, Jaffe has received numerous awards including a prestigious MacVicar Fellowship. Jaffe is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Washington Taylor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Washington Taylor is a Professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is currently the Director of MIT's Center for Theoretical Physics. Taylor's research is focused on basic theoretical questions of particle physics and gravity. Taylor has made contributions to our understanding of fundamental aspects of string theory and its set of solutions, including connections to constraints on low-energy field theory and observable physics and to new results in mathematics. Taylor received his B.A. in mathematics from Stanford and his Ph.D. in physics from University of California, Berkeley. Among other honors, Taylor has been an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator, and has received MIT's Buechner faculty teaching prize.


    • Winner, 2019 PROSE Award for Textbook/Physical Sciences and Mathematics

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