The Science of Energy
Resources and Power Explained

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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Energy and Human Civilization
How much energy is required to power human civilization? What is it that makes our cities, factories, homes, and cars so energy inefficient? How can the average individual affect energy…
Episode 2 Energy - Forms and Conversion for Use
Energy is a fundamental part of our universe--in a sense, the universe is energy. Here, Professor Wysession introduces you to the many fascinating forms energy takes, including potential, kinetic, mechanical,…
Episode 3 Heat - The Transfer and Flow of Energy
One of the first forms of energy that humans learned to use is heat. You'll examine three ways heat flows (radiation, convection, conduction); make sense of the heat flow equation…
Episode 4 Electricity - Ultimate Energy Converter
Discover what makes electricity such an attractive vehicle for energy. Learn how electricity can come from oil, coal, solar, and other forces, and how electricity travels through wires with the…
Episode 5 Chemical Energy, Biomass, and Photosynthesis
Turn now to chemical energy, the potential energy resulting from the position of atoms within molecules. After an overview of photosynthesis (perhaps the universe's most amazing form of energy conversion),…
Episode 6 Coal: Convenient, Energy-Dense Fuel
Understand one of energy's most polarizing topics: coal. Where does coal come from, and how does it develop? What makes coal "clean" or "dirty"? Why do certain nations have the…
Episode 7 Petroleum - Chemistry, Retrieval, and Use
In the first of two lectures on petroleum, examine the science behind this common fossil fuel: how it's formed, how it's found and processed, how it's transported, and how it's…
Episode 8 New Petroleum Directions
Peer into the future with this look at some of the newest trends in oil and gas production. Professor Wysession explains the difference between conventional and unconventional oil, the geology…
Episode 9 Fossil Fuel Energy - Issues and Concerns
Fossil fuels, while abundant and portable, come with a significant list of drawbacks. Focus now on the various financial, environmental, and health concerns surrounding our continued reliance on fossil fuels…
Episode 10 Understanding Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a pollutant so significant to human civilization that Professor Wysession devotes an entire lecture to it. If CO2 is only 0.04% of the atmosphere, how can it…
Episode 11 The Science of Nuclear Power
Travel to the subatomic level for a fascinating exploration of how nuclear energy is generated. It's an eye-opening lecture that touches on everything from nuclear fission and radioactive decay to…
Episode 12 The Nuclear Fission Fuel Cycle
Professor Wysession explains how uranium is used to make electricity through the process of nuclear fission, from acquiring uranium-bearing rocks to disposing of leftover nuclear waste. Afterwards, learn some of…
Episode 13 Sunlight - Inexhaustible Energy Source
Sunlight is a literally inexhaustible source of energy. Discover why (and how) the sun gives off light, how much sunlight energy the earth's surface gets in an average day, how…
Episode 14 Solar Power and Electricity
The biggest area of growth for solar energy: transforming sunlight into electricity with the aid of solar panels. Go inside the world of photovoltaic solar panels to find out how…
Episode 15 Wind Power and Electricity
Wind power is another growing source of renewable energy. First, discover how giant wind turbines provide us with energy. Then, get a brief history of how humans have tapped into…
Episode 16 Hydroelectric Power - Electricity from Water
Hydroelectric power continues to be the planet's largest renewable source of electricity. In this lecture, Professor Wysession discusses the benefits of hydroelectric power (no CO2 production, free fuel) and drawbacks…
Episode 17 Biofuels - Biodiesel and Ethanol
Liquid biofuels like biodiesel and corn-based ethanol are the most rapidly growing forms of biomass energy in the 21st century. Here, survey some of the many intriguing chemical reaction routes…
Episode 18 Geothermal Energy
Go deep underground for a look at geothermal energy. Topics include the energy budget of our planet, two main ways of using geothermal energy, five different technologies used for hydrothermal…
Episode 19 Energy Storage Technologies
The sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow. So how do we store renewable energy from these and other sources for later? Focus on several basic (as…
Episode 20 Energy Needs for Transportation
Transportation is an enormous part of our global total energy consumption. From planes to trains to automobiles, learn how scientists are working to make popular modes of transportation as fuel-efficient…
Episode 21 Energy Efficiency - Technologies and Trends
Where is energy commonly being wasted? How does one become a more efficient energy user? This lecture is filled with takeaways to help anyone (from home owner to car driver…
Episode 22 Energy Sources - Economics and Politics
Professor Wysession outlines some of the major economic and political forces shaping the development of the world's energy resources. You'll learn how hidden costs can affect the economics of supply…
Episode 23 Probable and Possible Future Energy Sources
Look ahead to the possible (and probable) advancements in the areas of energy resources. You'll cover the growth of tidal and wave energy, the difficulty of nuclear fusion, the energy…
Episode 24 Energy Trends - Planning for the Near Future
According to Professor Wysession, there's no easy solution to the world's energy future. Going through many of the sources explored in previous lectures, he estimates how much energy we'll need,…

Related videos

Electricity - Ultimate Energy Converter
Episode 4 of The Science of Energy
Discover what makes electricity such an attractive vehicle for energy. Learn how electricity can come from oil, coal, solar, and other forces, and how electricity travels through wires with the help of voltage. Also, examine recent advances that make it easier for us to choose where we source our electricity.
Fossil Fuel Energy - Issues and Concerns
Episode 9 of The Science of Energy
Fossil fuels, while abundant and portable, come with a significant list of drawbacks. Focus now on the various financial, environmental, and health concerns surrounding our continued reliance on fossil fuels (such as coal fires and oil spills). Then, examine some recent technological and legislative efforts to combat these problems.
Sunlight - Inexhaustible Energy Source
Episode 13 of The Science of Energy
Sunlight is a literally inexhaustible source of energy. Discover why (and how) the sun gives off light, how much sunlight energy the earth's surface gets in an average day, how much land we'd need to supply all our energy needs through sunlight, and some of the geographical problems with solar…
Geothermal Energy
Episode 18 of The Science of Energy
Go deep underground for a look at geothermal energy. Topics include the energy budget of our planet, two main ways of using geothermal energy, five different technologies used for hydrothermal power systems (including dry steam power plants), and the concept of shallow ground source heat pumps (GSHPs).
Probable and Possible Future Energy Sources
Episode 23 of The Science of Energy
Look ahead to the possible (and probable) advancements in the areas of energy resources. You'll cover the growth of tidal and wave energy, the difficulty of nuclear fusion, the energy potential of earthquakes and supervolcanoes, and giant space arrays of solar panels designed to capture even more solar energy.
Energy and Human Civilization
Episode 1 of The Science of Energy
How much energy is required to power human civilization? What is it that makes our cities, factories, homes, and cars so energy inefficient? How can the average individual affect energy directions? Find out in this overview of how energy touches everything from engineering and economics to biology, chemistry, and geophysics.
Energy - Forms and Conversion for Use
Episode 2 of The Science of Energy
Energy is a fundamental part of our universe--in a sense, the universe is energy. Here, Professor Wysession introduces you to the many fascinating forms energy takes, including potential, kinetic, mechanical, and thermal energy. He also explains how energy is measured to make you more fluent in "energy-speak" for the coming…
Heat - The Transfer and Flow of Energy
Episode 3 of The Science of Energy
One of the first forms of energy that humans learned to use is heat. You'll examine three ways heat flows (radiation, convection, conduction); make sense of the heat flow equation and the concept of entropy; and go inside the inner workings of a "heat engine" machine.
Chemical Energy, Biomass, and Photosynthesis
Episode 5 of The Science of Energy
Turn now to chemical energy, the potential energy resulting from the position of atoms within molecules. After an overview of photosynthesis (perhaps the universe's most amazing form of energy conversion), learn how combustion transforms biofuels into light and heat, and how energy density affects the transportation of biofuels like petroleum.
Coal: Convenient, Energy-Dense Fuel
Episode 6 of The Science of Energy
Understand one of energy's most polarizing topics: coal. Where does coal come from, and how does it develop? What makes coal "clean" or "dirty"? Why do certain nations have the largest coal reserves? What are some advantages to coal energy? And how does strip mining impact the environment?
Energy Storage Technologies
Episode 19 of The Science of Energy
The sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow. So how do we store renewable energy from these and other sources for later? Focus on several basic (as well as high-performance and high-volume) technologies for storing the surplus of energy we can get from sources such as wind…
Energy Needs for Transportation
Episode 20 of The Science of Energy
Transportation is an enormous part of our global total energy consumption. From planes to trains to automobiles, learn how scientists are working to make popular modes of transportation as fuel-efficient as possible. Also, explore the topic of electric cars and whether or not they're truly more efficient than gas-powered ones.