PA - C6 - PHY555 : Energy and environment

Domaine > Physique.


Bilingual Course

The general topic of energy, both at French and worldwide levels, represents some considerable challenge in this beginning of the twenty-first century. We should take up in the next few years a significant number of challenges including the depletion of fossil resources or the consequences of global warming. Understanding concepts related to energy, its most fundamental aspects in its various forms and many uses, becomes essential in the formation of an engineer. The impact on the environment, climate change, the reasonable use of fossil fuels and alternative solutions must be at the heart of its concerns.

This course is largely a about physics and applications. However, it introduces and develops numerous multidisciplinary concepts related to energy such as economy or environment. It will represent an introductory course for students who are considering to study in Masters for careers related to the problems of energy and sustainable development. It will give to other students some comprehensive and rigorous overview of problems, essential to understand our society and its issues.

The course consists of approximately three parts

  1. The energy and its use

Historical context and definitions. First and second principles.
Orders of magnitude and fundamental interactions.
The different forms of energy. Primary and secondary Energy. Efficiencies.
Resource depletions. The peak oil discoveries.
The French and worldwide context.
The climatic consequences. The mechanism of the greenhouse effect.
CO2 emissions and international agreements.

   2.Renewable energy

Different solutions: hydro power, wind power, solar, biomass and others.
Comparison of different type of primary energy in the production of electricity.
Hydrogen as energy vector for the future. The general problem of transport.
The technical, environmental and economic issues.
The recent improvement for the use of fossil fuels.
CO2 storage and other research topics.

  3. Nuclear Energy

Principle of current reactors. The future generation 4.
The fuel cycle and resource depletion.
Problems and solution of waste storage.
The prospects of fusion for the production of electricity
The Tchernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island accidents.

Credits ECTS : 5

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade réduit

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Energy Environment : Science Technology & Management

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Diplôme d'ingénieur de l'Ecole polytechnique

Veuillez patienter