textbook cover

Physics 12: Energy and the Environment

Spring Term, 2013

This course looks at the role that energy plays in our lives. We will first explore the physics of energy in its many forms, learning how to calculate/estimate the energy content of a wide variety of systems. Then we will look at our sources of energy, addressing present and future limitations and crises. While we will inevitably touch on socio-political aspects of the energy problem, the focus of the course will be on understanding the physical and technical issues associated with the problem so that we can make informed contributions to the ever-evolving energy policies of our world.

Course Outline in PDF format, updated



TED portal

TED Access Tips

Midterm Study Guide

Midterm Front Page (PDF)

Midterm Key

Electricity Meter Extra Credit

Final Exam Study Guide

Final Exam Front Page

Second-Half Transmitter Questions

Class meets MWF 3:00 to 3:50 PM, York 2622.
Discussion Session meets Wednesday, 4:00 to 4:50 PM in CSB 005.

See The UCSD Time Schedule for enrollment information.
Also see the Academic Calendar for information on class dates and holidays.

Professor: Tom Murphy
SERF Buliding (930), Room 336, 534-1844
tmurphy at physics / ucsd / edu
Office hours: Thu. 1:30–2:30 PM
Office hours also by appointment (e-mail, phone, personal, drop by)

Teaching Assistant: Matthew Hasling
mhasling at physics / ucsd / edu
Office Hours: Thursday 2:30–3:50 PM
Office Hour Location: SERF 434

Course Textbook

Energy and the Environment, 2nd edition, by Ristinen and Kraushaar, Wiley, 2006, ISBN: 0-471-73989-8. This textbook is required for the course. The book is excellent, and the course will follow it closely.

Electronic Transmitter Required

Students are asked to purchase an iClicker transmitter in order to participate in in-class voting/discussion. These can be bought at the bookstore for $37.50 new, or $28.15 used. They can be sold back for half-price a the end of the quarter. You may register your iClicker online (answer No or Not Sure to question about Learning Management System, even if it's a lie).

Do the Math Blog:

Murphy's blog about energy issues very much in line with this course's content.