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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Richard Jeffrey Wilkes
PHYS 575
Seattle Campus

Selected Topics in Applications of Physics

Class description

Audience: This course will be of interest to professionals working in, or considering starting a business related to renewable energy or green energy, as well as to students in physical sciences and engineering who want to learn more about the science of non-fossil energy sources. Course content: Review of thermodynamics and applications to energy generation and transport; review of fluid mechanics and applications to wind and wave energy sources; electrical power generation and distribution, direct and indirect solar energy conversion; review of nuclear physics and applications to new ideas in nuclear fission power systems, and nuclear fusion power.

The course will combine lectures with a seminar-discussion format. Specific topics covered may vary to reflect the interests of students. Students will be expected to make brief, informal presentations, reporting on topics they have chosen to investigate. Class will meet two nights per week as scheduled. However, the Thursday evening meeting will be offered online. Students may attend from home, work, or any other internet-connected site, using ordinary web browsers, and Adobe Connect software provided by PCE. Students who prefer to attend in person may join the instructor in A-114 PAB as usual.


Graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Intermediate level undergraduate physics courses (E&M, QM, and thermodynamics), or equivalent engineering courses. The course will begin with a review of relevant physics topics, so students whose memory of their college physics courses is distant or imperfect will be able to catch up.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures, discussion, student presentations.

Recommended preparation

Elementary physics, sophomore level E&M and QM.

Class assignments and grading

Students will select a relevant topic of personal interest, research it, and prepare a report, in the form of a paper and/or 15 min presentation to the class at end of term.

Project report.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information: course home page
Last Update by Richard Jeffrey Wilkes
Date: 10/23/2011