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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

Renewable Sources of Electricity
Episode 13 of Everyday Engineering
Survey the three most important sources of renewable energy: hydropower, wind power, and solar power. Look at the inner workings of hydroelectric dams, wind turbines, solar-thermal power stations, and photovoltaic arrays to see how each takes a renewable energy source and converts it into electricity.
The Infinite - A Primer on Solar, Wind & Hydrogen
A terrific introduction to the concepts and benefits of renewable energy, The Infinite clearly illustrates the emerging technologies of wind, solar and hydrogen. While stunning aerial photography of wind turbines captures the imagination of students, engaging diagrams demonstrate the fundamental science behind these technologies. The Infinite clearly explains what renewable…
Solar Power – An Alternative Energy Source
Part of the Series: Show Me Science Series - Advanced
Alternative energy sources are being researched and developed to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Fluctuating costs of oil, coal and natural gas, along with their possible negative effects on the environment, has made energy sources such as wind and solar more cost-competitive with fossil fuels. More energy strikes the Earth…
Energy Trends - Planning for the Near Future
Episode 24 of The Science of Energy
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, what sources are (and will be) available to us, and how to think realistically--and optimistically--about our energy consumption.
Wind Power and Electricity
Episode 15 of The Science of Energy
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 wind's potential and the meteorology of how wind works. Finally, learn the best regions for wind power and the advantages…
Energy: Transforming Renewable Resources - Photovoltaics
Part of the Series: Show Me Science Series - Advanced
Learning to incorporate a variety of eco-friendly energy sources into our businesses and homes will make Earth a better place to live. This program explores photovoltaics, the design behind wind turbine technology and the creative processes behind vehicles in the American Solar Car Race. Zero energy houses of the future…
Energy: Transforming Renewable Resources – Biomass & Solar Energy
Part of the Series: Show Me Science Series - Advanced
This program stresses the importance of caring for our environment and provides an overview of multiple energy sources such as biomass and solar energy. It documents how some states are trying to enact laws that require local power plants to increase their power provided by renewable energy. To preserve our…
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…
The Future of Energy - The Clean Energy Revolution
This film journeys across America to shine a light on the communities and individuals who are at the forefront of the clean energy revolution, taking practical steps to transition from fossil fuels to renewable power. Solar, wind and water could power the planet by the year 2050, according to experts…
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…
Kilowatt Ours
Did you know that by recycling a single aluminum can we conserve enough energy to power a regular TV for a whole hour? Did you know that if every home in America used just one energy efficient light bulb that we would instantly cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1 trillion…
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…