Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists consider their own carbon footprint

Date:
October 3, 2011
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
An astrophysicist calls on physicists to pull their weight when it comes to climate change, drawing on his own research showing that astronomers average 23,000 air miles per year flying to observatories, conferences and meetings, and use 130 KWh more energy per day than the average US citizen.

In October's issue of Physics World, Phil Marshall, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford, calls on physicists to pull their weight when it comes to climate change, drawing on his own research showing that astronomers average 23,000 air miles per year flying to observatories, conferences and meetings, and use 130 KWh more energy per day than the average US citizen.

Marshall says that physicists must not only act as "trusted voices" in climate-change debates, but also do all they can to reduce their own carbon footprints.

This must involve a change of behaviour at the individual level -- say by skipping an overseas scientific meeting and taking part via video conference call instead -- and as an entire community, particularly by carefully planning future experiments to try and make them as "carbon-neutral" as possible.

"Individual physicists can help to solve the energy problem, and not just the ones whose research is in new technologies; we can all contribute by setting the right example," writes Marshall.

It is an urgent problem for physics as many current "big-science" facilities -- from huge particle accelerators to massive ground-based telescopes -- have a frightening energy demand, Marshall notes. CERN's Large Hadron Collider, for example, has an energy bill as big as that of all the households in the region around Geneva, estimated to be around €10m.

Marshall's comments are timely as researchers are set to meet up in mid-October to identify ways to do large-scale physics research with a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply that is carbon-neutral.

The venue of this workshop -- Lund, in Sweden -- is an appropriate location for the meeting as the city will also play host to the first ever carbon-neutral, big-science facility -- the €1.48bn European Spallation Source (ESS) -- which is set to come online towards the end of the decade. All of the ESS's electricity will come from renewable sources and more than half the heat it generates will be fed back into the system.

Carbon reduction is, of course, not the only challenge facing those designing massively complex scientific facilities like the ESS. As explained in the first ever Physics World big-science supplement, which accompanies the October issue of the magazine, these challenges are many and varied -- ranging from the financial and technical to the political and scientific.

Also in this month's issue:

  • Relativity's new revolution -- how computer simulations are pointing to rogue black holes that could be cannonballing through the universe
  • Making sense of common sense -- Duncan Watts from Yahoo! Research explains how physicists are muscling in on sociology

Physics World is available online at: http://physicsworld.com


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Physicists consider their own carbon footprint." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929235151.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2011, October 3). Physicists consider their own carbon footprint. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929235151.htm
Institute of Physics. "Physicists consider their own carbon footprint." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929235151.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins