PHYS 575 - Winter Quarter 2012

Special Topics in Applications of Physics:

Physics of Renewable Energy Sources

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last updated: 10/24/2011

NOTE: Students in the Evening MS Program and GNMs register for this course through UW Professional and Continuing Education (see links below), not via MyUW

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00-8:50 pm, Room A-114 Physics-Astronomy Building
(Thursday class meetings are also offered online)

Instructor: R. J. Wilkes, Kenneth Young Memorial Professor of Physics

Office: B303 Physics-Astronomy, (206) 543-4232



This course will be of interest to professionals working in, or considering starting a business related to renewable energy or green energy, as well as to students in physical sciences and engineering who want to learn more about the science of non-fossil energy sources.

Course content:

Review of thermodynamics and applications to energy generation and transport; review of fluid mechanics and applications to wind and wave energy sources; electrical power generation and distribution, direct and indirect solar energy conversion; review of nuclear physics and applications to new ideas in nuclear fission power systems, and nuclear fusion power.


Graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Intermediate level undergraduate physics courses (E&M, QM, and thermodynamics), or equivalent engineering courses.  The course will begin with a review of relevant physics topics, so students whose memory of their college physics courses is distant or imperfect will be able to catch up.

Open to:

a) Students enrolled in the UW Physics Evening MS Degree Program (register for section B via PCE).

b) Anyone with adequate undergraduate preparation in a physical science, mathematics or engineering, including the prerequisites listed above. You may enroll for this class as a graduate non-matriculated student (GNM), without joining the degree program. Please contact the PCE admissions office for further information:

c) Full or part time UW graduate students, from any college or campus (register for section C via MyUW).

UW Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) links:

To request forms for course registration, or for questions about registration, please contact:

Kim Mechaelis
Program Administrator

UW Physics Evening MS program:

For more information about the Evening MS Degree Program, see

or contact :

R. J. Wilkes
Faculty Coordinator for Physics EMSP