Estimating Our Energy Predicament - An Inquiring Minds Lecture at Georgia Tech

- This event sponsored by The School of Physics at Georgia Tech as part of their Inquiring Minds Series and is free and open to the public.
- The Clough Commons is located immediately behind the Georgia Tech Library. Consult this webpage for directions and parking options.
- Word has it that the Peters Parking Lot (E52 on this JPEG map) is free starting at 5:35 pm.
- Please use the comment section to suggest social arrangements (e.g. drinks after the talk) that you would be interested in organizing.
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Estimating Our Energy Predicament - An Inquiring Minds Lecture at Georgia Tech

Tom Murphy
Associate Professor, Department of Physics
Associate Director, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
University of California, San Diego

Combining knowledge of physics with a healthy willingness to estimate and approximate, we can say some rather profound things about future paths available to our society in terms of energy and resources. Topics such as growth, global warming, fossil fuels and their potential replacements, and energy storage are ripe targets for back-of-the-envelope quantification, and will be explored in this talk. A subtext is that we should not take for granted that superior substitutes will replace fossil fuels.

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  • michael h.

    He was very compelling. Physics is usually much more theoretical...loved his practicality. In my engineering experience we called his approach feasibility studies, a great tool for concept development. I wish more air head policy wonks would take note (that includes a significant population of scientists).

    November 12, 2013

  • Ted F.

    Agreed; he was compelling and fascinating- wish he had asked the disputing questioner at the end for disclosure of his affiliation with an energy or automotive interest. On the one hand he does play a little loose with his variables, but anyone can see his method helps to quickly and clearly give a presentable ballpark gut check to things that might seem like a no brainer to us but continue to perplex a portion of the elected officials.

    November 11, 2013

  • John A.

    I agree, very interesting examples and conclusions presented in an engaging way. This form of rough and tumble estimation would be certainly a useful skill to develop and apply to problems. I couldn't help snapping photos of the slides to show to others (with credit to Tom Murphy, of course!)

    1 · November 11, 2013

  • Bill E.

    Outstanding! Tom Murphy is an excellent presenter and his material in this presentation should be required fare for every legislator in the country. Witty, intelligent and accessible. It was a home run.

    2 · November 11, 2013

  • Mike S.

    Hope it was good - I gave up trying to find a place to park - some event going on.....

    November 11, 2013

  • Leon N.

    I'm a retired engineer and have been researching this subject for several years.

    November 11, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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