Wewease the Secwet Weapon

I am a strong advocate of the various you tube inspired channels that inform the general public regarding all matters scientific.  These channels include the original V-Sauce, I Luv Vi Hart, Veristasium, Minute Physics, Numberphile, and the Periodic Table of Videos.

Add to this list the delightful “Talk Nerdy to Me”, courtesy of the Huffpost.  In the video linked above, we see a fun but accurate description of developments in the hot field of renewable energy sources, including solar energy that would otherwise bypass the Earth being transmitted from a (presumably geosynchronous) satellite to a ground station below via collimated laser or microwave beams.

On the subject of energy, a pet peeve of mine was reinforced by a comment made my Richard Feynman in his autobiography “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!”  On page 271, he states that energy is not consumed (destroyed) in the process of doing work, but is instead transformed from a concentrated form to a diluted form.  In my entire teaching career, I have never seen this mentioned in a single physics text book, although I teach it every semester.

BTW, these new sources of “free” energy reminded me of Madeleine Kahn, the great comedic actress, who was the voice, with obvious speech defect, of Gussie Mausheimer, leader of the mice rebelling against the cats in the animated film “An American Tail”, who directs the release of the “secret weapon” (a giant mechanical mouse) at just the right time for the mice to defeat the cats.

May renewable energy sources produce the “secret weapon” we need to achieve energy independence.

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Author: Bob Mahoney

Physics teacher

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