The k p method and its application to graphene, carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons: the Dirac equation

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Discovery Guides Geothermal Energy: Drilling Beneath the Surface of Our Energy Dilemma by Ethan Goffman Introduction/History Huge shapes loom in the Nevada desert, reaching far beneath the surface, yet also stretching to the sky. Oil wells? No, although much of the technology is the same, and the exploration process is also similar. These are geothermal drills, taking heat from water pockets far below the surface, employing steam as a raw resource to turn a turbine and generate electricity. Geothermal power draws upon primordial heat from beneath the earth‟s surface: “At the Earth‟s core, 4,000 miles deep, temperatures can reach upwards of 9,000°F (5,000°C)” (Geothermal 101). Of course humans are not able to drill down that far, but we do go down several miles, using heat up to 662°F (350°C) (Brittanica). Along with primordial heat we might expect hellish smoke, but that is far from the case. Although the vapor arising from geothermal wells might appear hazardous, it is almost entirely harmless steam. Like many other renewables, such as solar and wind, geothermal energy does not add to global warming or to local air pollution. Although receiving less media attention than solar and wind power, geothermal is likely to play a big part in our energy future. And geo- thermal is a constant, reliable resource, lacking the intermittency problems that plague some re- newables. Humans have used geothermal energy for longer than one might think, for instance by bathing in hot springs. For electricity generation, geothermal is still over 100 years old; the first such plant “opened at Larderello, Italy in 1904 and continues to operate successfully. The first commercial U.S. geothermal power plant . . . opened at The Geysers in California in 1960” and remains in operation (Geothermal 101). By far the biggest geothermal success story is Iceland. Replete with geysers and volcanoes, that island country “is now fully powered by renewable forms of energy, with 17% of electricity and 87% of heating needs provided by geothermal energy” (Geothermal 101, 15). Most of the rest of the world is not situated on top of such an abundant, accessible energy source. Nevertheless, with greatly ex- Drilling crew performing tests, geothermal demonstration project, Nevada http://www.nrel.gov/geothermal/projects. html First geothermal power plant, 1904, Lardarello, Italy http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geother mal/history.html ©2009 ProQuest Released September 2009 1

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