Energy on This World and Elsewhere

Physics 1110   Fall 2014

Course Instructor: Craig Dukes

Attendance Class Web Site Course Rules Grading
iClickers Office Hours Prerequisites Syllabus
Texts Additional Material Useful Links Roster
Final Paper

Energy is of paramount importance to civilization, and although it has been for centuries, although never more than the present day. Much of the things we value and rely on automobiles, air travel, heating and air conditioning all depend on access to inexpensive sources of energy. Wars have been fought over sources of energy. But what is energy? Is it inexhaustible, or will inexpensive sources of energy disappear in our lifetimes? Will our thirst for energy inevitably lead to climate change and global warming?

Physics 1110 is a course intended to address these issues. Structured so that it is accessible to non-science majors, this course addresses such topics as the physical nature of energy, the ways in which we produce and consume energy in our society, and how the opportunities energy provides, and the threats that may occur will play into our future.

Class Web Site
Refer to the class web page for up to date information. However, announcements made in class always supersede any information given on the class web page.


Physics 204
TR 9:30-10:50 am


None but an interest in what energy is, where it comes from, where it goes, and why it is vital to modern societies. The math will be at the high-school level: no Calculus.

Course Instructor

Craig Dukes, Room 117
High Energy Physics Laboratory
Telephone: 982-5364
E-mail: craigdukes(at)
A map to my office.


Books you should purchase:
  • Energy For Future Presidents , Richard A. Muller, W. W. Norton and Company (New York, 2012), ISBN 978-0-393-34510-0.
  • Physics and Technology for Future Presidents , Richard Muller, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 2010), ISBN 978-0-691-13504-5.
  • Beyond Smoke and Mirrors , Burton Richter,
Free books online:
  • The Character of Physical Law, Richard Feynman .pdf

Additional Material

Other material you might find interesting reading:
Downloadable Material
  • Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change): .pdf
  • EIA Annuel Energy Outlook (2014): .pdf
  • Some Energy Fundamentals , Don Lancaster: .pdf
Books of interest
  • The Climate Fix, Roger Pielke, Jr.
  • Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert's Peak , Kenneth S. Deffeyes
  • Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage , Kenneth S. Deffeyes
  • I The High Frontier , 3rd edition, by Gerard K. O'Neill

Office hours and Location

Office hours: M 5-6pm, 302 Physics (not the High Energy Physics Lab!), or by appointment.


We will be using iClickers in this course. You should purchase a iClicker2 at the UVa bookstore, and remember to bring it to class. Note that our network is BB.


Incompletes are not given for the course; if for whatever reason you cannot keep up with the course requirements, then you are expected to withdraw from the course.


  • Class participation: 10%
  • iClicker scores: 5%
  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterms: 30%
  • Final report: 35%

Course Rules

Please read these course rules. By registering for this course you are agreeing to abide by these rules.

(Modified August 15, 2014)