IESVic Seminar: Planetary Scale Perspectives

murphy-tom-seminarPlanetary Scale Perspectives

Dr. Tom Murphy

Thurs., February 16th

1:00-2:00 pm, Clearihue A313


The transition to a sustainable energy future is the central challenge of our time. Useful calculations at the “outer” scale can establish the overall constraints in which we operate. It is, in fact, not difficult to show that growth is a temporary phase, necessitating a paradigm shift in the not-too-distant future. A variety of astrophysically-inspired perspectives on space, time, energy, and ecology help frame this unusual period and promote penetrating reflections on what we aim to do as a civilization.

Dr. Tom Murphy is a professor of physics at UC San Diego. An undergraduate at Georgia Tech and graduate student at Caltech, Prof. Murphy has spent a career pushing the boundaries of astrophysical instrumentation and science. Along the way, he has developed a growing interest in societal energy, experimenting with off-grid solar and storage technologies on the side. In 2021, Prof. Murphy published an open-access general-education textbook called Energy and Human Ambitions on a Finite Planet, available in PDF form to anyone.