Future of Energy


Essential Themes

In each chapter of Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku introduces many different ideas. As a group, you will select three ideas from the chapter you are responsible for that interest you the most. This could be because some of you have a personal connection to the idea, question the idea, or are intrigued by the idea. Compare and contrast the three ideas. Be sure to include individuals and events that are involved in the ideas.

This should be completed in paragraph form and be roughly 350 words for each idea. Please make headings for each idea and work with your partners to incorporate multimedia (no more than 1 video), graphics (no more than 3) and other items with this. Your explanation should be understandable by an average middle schooler or higher.

The essential ideas of this chapter consist of 3 major themes. Unlimited energy types, restricted energy types, and pros and cons of energy types. Unlimited types of energy consist of hydroelectric energy, wind turbine energy, nuclear fusion. Our next theme is restricted energy types. These types consist of gasoline, coal, and nuclear fission. We predict that these types of energy sources will become obsolete one day. Our third theme is pros and cons of energy types. In this theme we speak of pros and cons of solar energy, nuclear fission, and wind energy and how they can hurt and help the environment and the human race for better power sources.

Theme 1: Unlimited Energy Types

Unlimited energy resources are the key to our progress in the future. We can not be progressive as a race if we limit ourselves with restricted energy suppliers. These are just some of the future major energy providers of the future.

Wind energy has a surprisingly strong influence on our society today. However, it can not be used as a primary source. We are, most likely, in the near future going to have a mix of many renewable energy types. We can not solely rely on one energy type. This is because if that source shuts down, all of the electricity goes out! For example, if we use only wind turbines and the wind dies down for one day, everyone would lose power. This is why it would be more effective to have a mix of different types of energy sources. Wind turbines are efficient, but they still have many disadvantages.
Nuclear fusion allows us to harness all the power of the sun.source-http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/9812/eithe_981211_big.gif
Nuclear fusion allows us to harness all the power of the sun.source-http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/9812/eithe_981211_big.gif

Hydroelectricity is a great source for clean "unlimited" energy source. Like wind energy it also has setbacks. It is limited because it requires special location in which there are rivers powerful enough to turn enough turbines to become efficient. It is also extremely expensive and can be effected by the weather. Hydroelectricity is overall a great source of power even with its setbacks.

Nuclear Fusion is the future of world energy. Nuclear fusion is the process of combining hydrogen to create hydrogen isotopes. This process can only be accomplished at temperatures found only in the sun. Today this process is only possible in a lab in the U.S. Although there are other places with different methods of doing the same process. Nuclear Fusion will be the world leader in the production of power. Nuclear fusion also has almost no harmful bi-products. This is unlike nuclear fusion in which it creates a substantial amount of harmful waste. This is why nuclear fusion will be a leading world power source.

Theme 2: Restricted Energy Types

Restricted energy fuels are the main source of power in our societies today. Restricted resources also harm the environment and pollute the atmosphere. These energy providers will become obsolete in the future.

Gasoline is a refined form of petroleum. Gas powers most of today's vehicles and many other machines we use in our daily lives. Gas is a dirty energy source because it creates a large amount of CO2 and puts it the atmosphere. Although gas has a tight grip on our society it will quickly become extinct in the near future because of its diminishing availability and steady rising price.

Coal is a lump of compressed carbon mainly used for burning to produce electricity. Coal produces the largest amount of electrical power in our world. Coal is a dirty energy source because it emits harmful substances, such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Coal also has a definite amount and will run out.
coal plants will begin to become obsolete as coal runs outsourcehttp://thegreeneconomy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/coal-plant.jpg
coal plants will begin to become obsolete as coal runs outsourcehttp://thegreeneconomy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/coal-plant.jpg

Nuclear fission occurs when you spit an isotope of hydrogen. Although fission is finite, it is extremely hazardous to the environment or people that the radiation comes in contact with. Fission is a great source of power, but has many draw backs, and will likely become obsolete in the future.

Theme 3: Pros and Cons of Some Energy Types

From solar energy to nuclear fission, there are many potential advantages and disadvantages of energy sources. Transportation of energy, waste, and cost are all examples of disadvantages of new and upcoming energy sources. Of course, there are pros to all these energy sources. With global warming becoming a major issue, many new energy sources are being created to produce less waste. Also, almost all forms of energy being developed today are creating more energy than previous machines.

There are a significant amount of positive impacts from both the energy sources that are being created and even older ones. To start, nuclear fission and fusion create very large amounts of energy. They are also very clean sources of energy, producing no greenhouse gasses and almost no waste at all. Many new and improved renewable energy sources are being developed, as well. These include improved wind, solar, and hydrogen power. Using the wind, there are inventions in the making that do not produce any friction, therefore they are more efficient. There is research being done on solar cells to improve the effectiveness of solar panels, and even development on perhaps sending large solar panels into space. There are also larger quantities of wind farms, nuclear plants, and more. These sources promise clean energy for more people around the world.

Despite all this, there are many downfalls to these programs. Chief among these is cost. There are many nuclear programs in the works now that are only being held back because of their sheer cost. Also, no program is without its downsides. For example, nuclear fission, despite its vast energy production, creates radioactive waste in the progress. Even renewable energy sources have cons. Wind power only works in regions with high wind speed for long periods of time. Solar power only works during the day, and is very costly and inefficient. Hydrogen power is also expensive and very difficult to contain. In conclusion, with energy projects are no different than other projects, there are ups and downs.

Predicted Impact

Analyze the predicted impact on the economic, social, and political landscape if your three selected trends were to happen as you predict. Work with your team to cast a vision for what this would look like in the world. (Use the discussion tabs and commenting to facilitate discussions or speak to your teachers about direct contact with the other students if that will help.) This will form the basis of your movie creations so use your imagination but base it in fact and research from the book and beyond.

Unlimited Energy Types

Predicted Economic Impact:

New alternative energy resources like fusion and magnetism will have a massive effect on the economy of the future. When and if fusion becomes possible to produce on a mass scale, it will wipe out the existing coal, and the nuclear fission industry. I do not believe that it will disturb the the auto or oil industry because I do not think that we will have fusion powered motors for some time. It will create a trillion dollar industry because fusion plants will be popping up across the first world countries. It will become the leading energy producing business all over the world.
Nuclear power will become a massive industry in the futuresource-  http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02732/power_2732411b.jpg
Nuclear power will become a massive industry in the futuresource- http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02732/power_2732411b.jpg

Predicted Political Impact:

After processing the benefits and the funds required of the unlimited energy sources, we can conclude that the political impact of green energy will just become bigger over time. Politicians will be forced to act because of global warming and energy crises due to a lack of fossil fuels. These opinions that politicians have on these crises and how they will act on them, whether it be taking action or just sitting back and not caring. It will influence the polls, turn the votes, and put an important twist on how people think of unlimited energy. Certain politicians tend to endorse new technology, and others tend to shoot the ideas down. It all depends on who is in office. If they approve of the energy change, large funds will be dedicated to the cause. If not, we will be set back from other nations in the realm of technology.

Predicted Social Impact:

When we grasp nuclear fusion and attain unlimited energy, the cost of energy will eventually lessen and become cheap. With this, efficiency of an item will be less concerning to producers. People will be less concerned of efficiency, and more concerned with how "cool" an item is. For example, back in the sixties, the cars that were used were not very efficient because society was not worried about how much gasoline costed or when we would run out of it. However, the cars of this era were considered very cool and people loved them regardless of their resourcefulness, or lack of it. This trend may be repeated in the future, where electricity is very cheap due to the increase in sources of energy and the high efficiency of these sources.

Restricted Energy Types

Predicted Economic Impact:

Since fossil fuels are in abundance currently we will not need a new source of energy anytime soon, but in terms of pollution its killing the environment and making living conditions very weak in some places like China.
download (7).jpg
source- http://physicsofthefuture.wikispaces.com/file/view/download%20%287%29.jpg/496331482/download%20%287%29.jpg
China is the most polluted country on Earth and there are no signs of them getting rid of the pollution. Countries will soon realize that we need a new energy source not because we need it, but it would make countries cleaner and living conditions better. We wont run out of fossil fuels because they will become an obsolete fuel source.

Predicted Political Impact:

In the result of restricted energy it will run out. When a product is in need, the prices skyrocket and it will divide the economy by the poor and the rich, it could also start wars over petroleum because when a country needs a resource they get it one way or another. furthermore it will open opportunity for inventions to be tried and new legendary inventors to arise. Like someone who makes a water powered engine, or solar powered cars and such. One day we will need oil and gasoline but it will run out. Should we find a new source, or run out and fight for Restricted energy?

Predicted Social Impact:

The predicted social impact of restricted energy types have been around since the creation of the combustion engine
download (6).jpg
source- http://physicsofthefuture.wikispaces.com/file/view/download%20%286%29.jpg/496330276/download%20%286%29.jpg
It has allowed people to move from place to place easily and freely. It broke the chains that kept them tied to a small area of land. Although restricted energy types broke boundaries in transportation and greatly improved the quality of life for billions of people, they are very destructive and pollutive to the environment. It as caused many species to go extinct and many more endangered. On top of this, it causes sickness and lung problems, creating a very poor condition place to live due to sickness from pollution in the air.

Pros and Cons of Some Energy Types

Predicted Economic Impact:

With energy production and consumption making up a large part of the economy, advancements in the field of energy are bound to have an effect on the economy of the future. For example, when more and more new power suppliers, like nuclear fusion and fission, are used as mainstream energy sources, the price of electricity will be driven down due to the increased supply and competition. This will allow for more people to access more energy than ever before. However, there will be downsides to this boom of energy. If everyone has access to energy, than people will become extremely reliant on electricity, and in an emergency when electricity goes down people would be unable to do simple tasks that they usually rely on electricity to do. A reliance on energy could have even more devastating results, however. Most of our production relies on electricity to keep going, so halting the electricity flow would drastically effect our ability to produce and transport goods, hurting the economy in a major way. In conclusion, while an increase in energy sources is a positive development, an increased reliance on electricity could be very detrimental.

Predicted Political Impact:

The use of the new energy types such as Nuclear Fusion or magnetism will have politicians and countries divided on the future of them.
download (4).jpg

Some will complain that the first world countries will take off at even a faster rate. It will leave a larger gap between countries that that are more technologically advanced. Some will say that the offer is to great to refuse but some will say that it will leave a gap between nations that will never be mended.
It will leave countries divided and maybe even start civil wars. It will be the largest change in energy sources to happen to the human race. The political impact will be the largest ever there has ever been before. It will change the world as we know it, the division could also lead to space exploration with nations wanting more land probably by the planets.

Predicted Social Impact:

New energy types will have a major effect on the societies of the future. With higher amounts of energy being available to more people, societies could use this energy in a few different ways. One way is, like in ancient Athens, where they used slaves to fight so the people could focus on advancing themselves and their society, people could use this increase in energy to do simple tasks, allowing themselves to focus on more important problems. This would allow for even further scientific and technological research, leading to more technology. However, people may also develop a necessity to have electronics if we use them for our day-to-day needs. If humans forget how to do simple tasks, instead relying on technology to do them for us, an emergency that knocks out power would be catastrophic. Also, there has never been a major war between two world powers as reliant on electricity as we are today. If an enemy nation were to knock out our power for extended periods of time, it would be extremely hard for us to adapt and fight back.

Essential Terminology

As you read the chapter, you are responsible to select 5 words that you'd consider important vocabulary for understanding the chapter. These words should be either words you do not already know the definition to or words you don't use on a regular basis. For each word complete the following. Each student must include 5 vocabulary words and draft the meaning and use it in a sentence but all students should work together to come to a final agreement on the word's meaning and sentences. The sentences should show an understanding of the word's meaning and be related to the topic. Use the comment feature for this.

Nuclear Fission-
Nuclear Fission-is either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of a particle splits into smaller parts (lighter nuclei).-Will H

Nuclear fission creates a vast amount of waste byproducts.

Nuclear Fusion-
Nuclear Fusion-is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei collide at a very high speed and join to form a new type of atomic nucleus.-Will H
Nuclear fusion will be new energy producer of the future generations.

Cold Fusion-
Cold Fusion-is a hypothetical type of nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near, room temperature, compared with temperatures in the millions of degrees that is required for "hot" fusion.-Will H
Cold fusion is considered nothing but a hoax

Magnetic Fusion-
Magnetic Fusion-is an approach to generating fusion power that uses magnetic fields to confine the hot fusion fuel in the form of a plasma.-Will H
Magnetic fusion is another form of producing nuclear fusion.

Magnetism-is a class of physical phenomena that includes forces exerted by magnets on other magnets.-Will H
Magnetism may become the future new energy.

Fission (page 254)
system of creating energy by splitting the uranium atom
"Scientists are experimenting with fission" - Andrew D

Electromagnetism (page 289)
magnetism caused by the fields created by electrical currents
"Many magnets can be easily controlled using electromagnetism" - Andrew D

Superconductor (page 287)
a electrical conductor that offers almost no resistance to the electric current
"A room temperature superconductor will change the world" - Andrew D

Feasibility (page 294)
possibility of an event happening
"some projects in the future have a very low feasibility of actually happening" - Andrew D

Megawatt (page 248)
a unit of measuring energy, 1,000,000 watts.
"A mega watt can power 200 houses for an hour" - Andrew D

Sonoluminescence (page 284)
a flash of light with the bursting of a bubble that was produced by sound waves influencing the liquid.
Sentence: "Perhaps we can use sonoluminescence to create energy!"

Geostationary (page 292)
When a satellite rotates around the Earth every twenty-four hours, so that it stays above the same area of land.
"I heard that Skynet 5B is geostationary!"

Ominously (page 263)
A negative omen, or in an eerie manner.
"She walked into the ominous dark cave."

Harbinger (page 262)
An arrival of a person or thing that alerts the arrive of another.
"The low temperatures are a harbinger of winter."

Sequestration (page 270)
Forming a stable compound with an ion.
"Let us take carbon dioxide and use the process of sequestration on it!"

Carbon nanotubes are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure.

"The doctor used the nanotube to examine the patients throat."
Solar Power-
Energy type through the power of the sun.
"The city used solar power to keep the city charged."

Wind Power-
Harnessing the power wind for our own power.
"The wind turbines create wind power to keep the town powered."

Fossil Fuels-
Energy the power from fossil fuel very bad for the environment.
"Fossils Fuels are the leading source of global warming."

Conversion from water to electric energy.
"They built a dam so they can harness hydroelectric energy."

Team Members

Put your username or first name only and your school below. If your team designated you with a specific task like lead editor, copy editor, or another task that you want done on the page, please note that.

  • Andrew D Bett
  • Christina L Bett
  • Will H. WW
  • Palmer C.


Insert your references below using the footnote feature on the wiki. This should be included for any direct quotations or citations of studies. Remember that you should ALSO use a hyperlink in the sentence for the appropriate word.