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Science Energy

Lights On!

The Science of Power Generation

by (author) Mark Denny

Johns Hopkins University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Energy, General, Environmental Science
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Watt’s up? A reader-friendly introduction to all things power.

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!

About the author

Mark Denny is a theoretical physicist who has worked in academia and industry. He is the author of numerous books, including Lights On! The Science of Power Generation, Making Sense of Weather and Climate: The Science behind the Forecasts, and Making the Most of the Anthropocene: Facing the Future.

Mark Denny's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"In Lights On!, prolific science writer/theoretical physicist Denny explains the history of power generation and presents important facts about renewable energy... The examples provided will help readers understand complex concepts."


Other titles by Mark Denny