Course Objectives
The aim of this course is to teach you concepts and understanding about Energy. This course is not intended for science majors, but of course science majors may take it. The course is designed for non-science majors wishing to satisfy their math/science Area Requirement or for someone wanting to learn more about the important subject of Energy. We will begin by learning enough science, that is physics, so we can understand how the various methods of producing energy actually work. Then we move into the fun part of the course, which is learning how wind, solar, or ocean wave energy may be the future. We want to be able to understand the arguments from many scientists and engineers who particularly favor one method over the other. We will even delve into some politics and government to see how tax credits and subsidies are crucial for industry to be able to invest hundreds of million dollars (or Euros) into a neat idea like off-shore wind power that may not be good for us. We will find that there are many sides to these issues, and we want to be able to understand them.

Read each assignment before the lecture and again as soon as possible after the lecture. At the beginning of each lecture there will be a short Reading Quiz based on that day's reading assignment. You will answer this quiz by using your own personal electronic device called a Personal Response System. We use iclickers. Attending the lectures and seeing demonstrations is an important way for you to understand the material. Doing the assigned homework problems will allow you to be able to apply what you have learned in lecture and by reading to apply your understanding.

Homework Assignments

We will discuss the first week about how often the homework shall be due. I expect to assign about 5 homework problems a week. We can either have them due each week or 10 problems due every two weeks. If for any reason (like sickness, for example), you do not finish the homework and decide to ask for a homework time extension, your request for an extension must be emailed to the professor before the assignment due date. Students will be expected to work and study outside the classroom.


  1. Homework is due when posted. No extra credit or makeup assignments will be given. Keep up! Any request for an extension must be made before the due date, not after.

  2. No makeup exams will be given. Missed exams receive a grade of zero unless an excuse for missing the exam is given to and accepted by the professor before the exam. Normally when an exam is excused, the remaining exams will be averaged. Students should not depend on this happening.

  3. Collaboration on homework problems: We encourage you to discuss homework problems with each other and to work out together methods of solution. Our experience has been that it is valuable for you to work the homework problems by yourself before seeking help. The homework answer that you submit must be your own.

  4. Attendance policy: Attendance is not taken, but you are responsible for all material discussed or assigned in the lecture and for assigned material in the syllabus, whether it is presented in lecture or not. You are also responsible for knowing the problem assignments and for any announcements of changes in the schedule that may be made in lecture.

Course Rules and Regulations:

It is important for students to be aware of these rules and regulations which may change throughout the course. Changes may be announced in class or by email, and we will try to post all changes on the website. Students are responsible for keeping up with the Course Rules and Regulations as stated on the website.
  1. Illness (as an excuse) must always be established in writing. Email is sufficient.

  2. If you do not turn in an assignment (including homework) on time or miss an exam (including being late and for illness), you will receive a grade of zero, unless you have prearranged approval by your professor. Messages of any kind including, but not limited to, email, telephone message, oral messages of any kind, notes delivered by a third party, etc., are not acceptable by themselves without a response from your professor. Any oral approval given by your professor must be confirmed in writing, usually email.

  3. If you miss the beginning of an exam, you will still be expected to turn in the exam at the end of the regular class. Oversleeping is not an acceptable excuse. If you miss the exam, you will receive a grade of zero.

  4. There will be no rescheduling of exams. Exams are excused only for instructor approved personal or family medical emergencies, official university travel, or certain religious holidays. Missing class for anything else including, but not limited to, vacations, travel plans, family reunions, concerts, Nobel prize receptions, White House visits, athletic events for non-participants, other classes, etc., will not be an acceptable excuse for missing an exam or for not turning in homework.

  5. You may work together doing homework, but you must work out the solution you submit.

  6. See the section on Student Reponse System Transmitters for policy considering the transmitters.

  7. The following is unacceptable in class: talking with classmates, newspaper reading, cell phones ringing or in use, use of laptop computers or other personal electronic devices for any reason other than directly for the class. Talking in class can become a significant problem, and sometimes students complain they cannot hear the lecture. After repeated warning, students who continue to talk will be asked to leave the lecture room.