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Course Description

A birds eye view of a power plant

This course covers energy resources and the production, transmission, interconversion, consumption and waste of energy in the industrial society. Emphasis is placed on environmental impact and human safety. Topics include fossil fuels, nuclear fission and fusion, wind and solar power, the hydrogen economy, and conservation strategies.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Describe common energy resources, electrical power generation and its distribution;
  2. Analyze the issues related to each energy source regarding environmental and health impact;
  3. Describe the underlying physics of the discussions about global warming, nuclear power, renewable energy resources and energy conservation; and
  4. Solve numerical problems related to all the discussed issues.

Course Topics

  • Elementary physics
  • Energy consumption, fossil fuels and resource modeling
  • Heat and Thermodynamics
  • Health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels
  • Electromagnetic radiation and the greenhouse effect
  • Electricity
  • Nuclear physics
  • Nuclear energy
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy use and new technologies
  • The automobile

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): IPS*1500 or [(PHYS*1000 or PHYS*1080), (1 of MATH*1000, MATH*1080, MATH*1200)], (1 of IPS*1510, PHYS*1010, PHYS*1070, PHYS*1130)


Assessment Item Weight
Written Problem Assignments (5) 50%
On Campus Final Exam 50%
Total 100%

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
January 06, 2020 to April 03, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,504.99 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note: If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above. You must register through WebAdvisor.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Energy, Physics and the Environment by E. L. McFarland, J. L. Hunt and J. L. Campbell. Cengage, 2007 3rd edition ISBN 9781426624339
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