AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Teaching Sustainability in the Majors Curriculum
  Paper Type: Invited
  Title: Physics of Sustainable Energy for Physics Majors
  Meeting: 2015 Summer Meeting: College Park, Maryland
  Location: N/A
  Time: 8:30AM
  Author: David Hafemeister, Cal Poly, SLO
805 544-5096, dhafemei@calpoly.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The oil embargo of 1973 was a tipping point that radically changed public views on energy supply and demand. Many physics educators responded with calculations and new courses. Six months after the start of the embargo, Cal Poly introduced Physics 310, The Physics of Energy. We believed that more quantification on energy situations, and the limits of these calculations, was needed. The resultant back–of–the–envelope calculations have been gathered together in a text. (1) In this talk, we will focus on sample calculations dealing with climate change and energy in buildings. Over the years we developed a hands-on energy lab, especially intended for the architecture majors (Cal Poly has 1500 of them!). This year I am combining forces with the next generation, Pete Schwartz. (2) I will report back on how we combined the flipped classroom with tell’um–and–test’um. A secondary aim is to attract more tenured full professors into applied work on the physics of energy, following in the footsteps of such leaders as Art Rosenfeld, Rob Socolow and Dan Kammen. All have shown the very positive and far-felt impact that our profession can have. The Forum on Physics and Society has held three workshops at University of California at Berkeley on the Physics of Sustainable Energy: Using Energy Efficiently and Producing it Renewably. (3)
  Footnotes: 1. D. Hafemeister, Physics of Societal Issues: Calculations on National Security, Environment and Energy, Springer, 2nd ed., (2014). 2. P. Schwartz introduces material primarily through videos for his classes related to Energy, to Appropriate Technology, and to Freshman Introductory Physics. These videos are open to all at http://sharedcurriculum.wikispaces.com/ 3. Physics of Sustainable Energy, American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings 1044 (2008), 1401 (2011), 1652 (2015).
  Presentation: AAPT Hafemeister Sustainable Energy Monday 27th 8-30 AM.ppt

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