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What is “energy?” We have had “energy crises” in the past, and “alternative energy sources” are currently making news. In fact, without energy, nothing at all can happen. We will explore its many forms and the processes that transform it from one form to another. We will also look at some environmental and economic impacts that accompany our use of energy. Are we really running out of readily-exploitable petroleum? Is “global warming” from our burning of fossil fuel going to doom life on planet earth? Could nuclear power – the energy mainstay of several European countries – play a larger role in our own energy future? Demonstrations, experiments, and computer animations will accompany our classroom discussions. Prior background experience in the sciences is not at all necessary but persons with such backgrounds will certainly be welcome.
GROUP LEADERS: Les Blatt is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Education at Clark University. His research interests include work in experimental nuclear physics, astrophysics and modern approaches to the learning of science. He has taught many WISE courses in the past.
BOOK (optional): “Energy” by Vaclav Smil, second edition (paperback). A free, downloadable supplementary resource book will also be suggested
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609