New textbook on physics of energy

A comprehensive introduction to the principles governing energy sources, uses, and systems


Update: Professor Jaffe’s textbook is now available

Cambridge University Press is now accepting pre-orders for The Physics of Energy  by Robert L. Jaffe, the Jane and Otto Morningstar Professor of Physics at MIT, and Washington Taylor, MIT professor of physics and director of the Center for Theoretical Physics. This definitive new textbook provides a comprehensive and systematic introduction to the scientific principles governing energy sources, uses, and systems. It traces the flow of energy from sources such as solar power, nuclear power, wind power, water power, and fossil fuels through its transformation in devices such as heat engines and electrical generators to its uses—including transportation, heating, cooling, and other applications. The flow of energy through the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, and systems issues including storage, electric grids, and efficiency and conservation are presented in a scientific context along with topics such as radiation from nuclear power and climate change from the use of fossil fuels.

This book will be an essential resource for any student, scientist, engineer, energy industry professional, or concerned citizen who has some mathematical and scientific background and an interest in understanding energy systems and issues quantitatively. Its comprehensive but modular form makes it an ideal text for a broad range of courses on energy science.

The book was developed with the support of a grant through the MIT Energy Initiative from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Publication is planned for March 2018.

This article appears in the issue of Energy Futures.

Basic energy scienceBuildingsElectric powerEnergy storageTransportation Education

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