402-0742-00L  Energy and Environment in the 21st Century (Part II)

SemesterSpring Semester 2019
LecturersM. Dittmar, P. Morf
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


402-0742-00 VEnergy and Environment in the 21st Century (Part II)2 hrs
Fri08:45-10:30HPK D 24.2 »
M. Dittmar, P. Morf
402-0742-00 UEnergy and Environment in the 21st Century (Part II)1 hrs
Fri10:45-11:30HPK D 24.2 »
M. Dittmar, P. Morf

Catalogue data

AbstractDespite the widely used concepts of sustainability and sustainable
development, one remarks the absence of a scientific
definition. In this lecture we will discuss, based on the natural laws and the scientific method, various proposed concepts for a
development towards sustainability.
ObjectiveA scientifically useful definition of sustainability?
Unsustainable aspects of our lifestyle and our society?
(unsustainable use of ressources, environmental destruction
and climate change, mass extinctions etc)
How long can humanity continue on its current unsustainable path,
what are the possible consequences? Historical examples of society collapse. What can we learn from them.
Existing Gedanken models/experiments (like Permaculture) promise to transform the human society into the direction of sustainability.
If these ideas would theoretically transform our global society
into a sustainable one, what are the large scale limitations and why
do we not yet follow these ideas?
ContentIntroduction ``sustainability" (22.2.); Population Dynamik (1.3.);
finite (energy)-resources (8.3.); waste problems (15.3.);
water, soil and industrial agriculture (22.3.); biodiversity (29.3.); (un)-sustainable development (5.4./12.4./3.5); example for sustainable systems (10.5./17.5.); human nature, Ethics and earth-care(?) summary (24.5./31.5.)
Lecture notesWeb page:
Literaturefor example:
Environmental Physics (Boeker and Grandelle)
A prosperous way down: Principles and Policies (H. Odum and E. Odum)
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge of the ``physics laws" governing todays energy
system and it use to deliver ``useful" work for our life
(laws of energie conservation and of the
energy transformation to do work).

Interest to learn about the problems (and possible solutions)
related to the transition from an unsustainable use of renewable and non renewable (energy) resources to a sustainable system
using scientific method.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits6 credits
ExaminersM. Dittmar, P. Morf
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

Main link``Entwicklung zur Nachhaltigkeit" Moeglichkeiten und Grenzen
RecordingGrundlagen für den Weg in die Nachhaltigkeit
Learning environmentLiteratur
DocumentsWeiterfuehrende Vortraege und Publikationen
Literatureweiterfuehrende Literatur
Only public learning materials are listed.


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Offered in

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Physics BachelorSelection of Higher Semester CoursesWInformation
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Physics MasterSelection: Further ElectivesWInformation