Opportunities for Science to Shape the Global Energy System

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 4:15pm
Room #1 LeConte Hall
Stanford University
Public Lecture: 

The history of energy is as old as that of human civilization. But the last 150-200 years of industrial revolution has been fundamentally different. This is when the foundations of thermodynamics and electromagnetism were created, which led to enormous changes in how we source, distribute, and use energy for transportation and electricity. Based largely on fossil fuels, it is the bedrock of any modern economy. The drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the 21st century is introducing a major transformation of the global energy system. This begs the question: What can science do to enable this transformation to a low-carbon economy? This talk will focus on a few unmistakable trends in energy and the role that science can play to create new opportunities. In particular, it will discuss the challenges in condensed matter physics related to heat, charge and mass transport as well as chemical transformations using light, heat and electricity.