402-0737-00L  Energy and Environment in the 21st Century (Part I)

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersM. Dittmar
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


402-0737-00 VEnergy and Environment in the 21st Century (Part I)2 hrs
Fri08:45-10:30HIT F 12 »
M. Dittmar
402-0737-00 UEnergy and Environment in the 21st Century (Part I)1 hrs
Fri10:45-11:30HIT F 12 »
M. Dittmar

Catalogue data

AbstractThe energy and related environmental problems, the physics principles of using energy and the various real and hypothetical options are discussed from a physicist point of view. The lecture is intended for students of all ages with an interest in a rational approach to the energy problem of the 21st century.
ObjectiveScientists and espially physicists are often confronted with questions
related to the problems of energy and the environment.
The lecture tries to address the physical principles of todays and tomorrow
energy use and the resulting global consequences for the world climate.

The lecture is for students which are interested
participate in a rational and responsible debatte about the
energyproblem of the 21. century.
ContentIntroduction: energy types, energy carriers, energy density
and energy usage. How much energy does a human needs/uses?

Energy conservation and the first and second law of thermodynamics

Fossile fuels (our stored energy resources) and their use.

Burning fossile fuels and the physics of the greenhouse effect.

physics basics of nuclear fission and fusion energy

controlled nuclear fission energy today, the different types of
nuclear power plants, uranium requirements and resources,
natural and artificial radioactivity and the related waste problems
from the nuclear fuel cycle.

Nuclear reactor accidents and the consequences,
a comparison with risks from other energy using methods.

The problems with nuclear fusion and the ITER project.

Nuclear fusion and fission: ``exotic'' ideas.

Hydrogen as an energy carrier: ideas and limits of a
hydrogen economy.

new clean renewable energy sources and their physical limits
(wind, solar, geothermal etc)

Energy perspectives for the next 100 years and some
final remarks
Lecture notesmany more details (in english and german) here:

LiteratureDie Energiefrage - Bedarf und Potentiale, Nutzung, Risiken und Kosten:
Klaus Heinloth, 2003, VIEWEG ISBN: 3528131063;

Environmental Physics: Boeker and Egbert New York Wiley 1999
Prerequisites / NoticeScience promised us truth, or at least a knowledge
of such relations as our intelligence can seize:
it never promised us peace or happiness
Gustave Le Bon

Physicists learned to realize that whether they like a theory or
they don't like a theory is not the essential question.
Rather, it's whether or not the theory gives predictions that agree with experiment.
Richard Feynman, 1985

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits6 credits
ExaminersM. Dittmar
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 20 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationLanguage of examination: English or German / Prüfungssprache: Deutsch oder Englisch
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

RecordingEnvironmental Physics
Learning environmentEnergy and Environment in the 21st Century
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

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