Friday, September 20, 2013

Pg. 99: Mark Denny's "Lights On!"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Lights On!: The Science of Power Generation by Mark Denny.

About the book, from the publisher:
Power generation is a relatively recent concern because humans had little need for sustained power until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Today, modern civilization is wholly dependent on the production and distribution of power. Without it, our way of life would be extinguished.

In Lights On!, Mark Denny reveals the mysterious world of power generation. He takes us on a fun tour, examining the nature of energy, tracing the history of power generation, explaining the processes from production through transmission to use, and addressing questions that are currently in the headlines, such as:
• Is natural gas the best alternative energy source in the near term?
• Could solar power be the answer to all our problems?
• Why is nuclear power such a hard sell, and are the concerns valid?

Devoting individual chapters to each of the forms of power in use today—electrical, coal, oil and natural gas, hydro, nuclear, and solar—Denny explains the pros and cons of each, their availability worldwide, and which are in dwindling supply. Making clear that his approach is that of "a scientist and engineer, not a politician or businessman," Denny addresses environmental concerns by providing information to help readers understand the science and engineering of power generation so they can discuss contemporary energy issues from an informed perspective. For those who wish to delve deeper into the science, a technical appendix provides estimations for a variety of power generators.

Anyone who is interested in how energy works and how it is transformed to power our lives will get a charge out of Lights On!
Learn more about Lights On! at the Johns Hopkins University Press website and Mark Denny's website.

Denny is a theoretical physicist who worked in academia and industry. He is author of a number of popular science books, most recently Gliding for Gold: The Physics of Winter Sports and The Science of Navigation: From Dead Reckoning to GPS.

The Page 99 Test: The Science of Navigation.

Writers Read: Mark Denny (July 2012).

The Page 99 Test: Lights On!.

--Marshal Zeringue