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Selected Literature From My Workstation Library Shelf
(continually under construction!)
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Electricity 101
Storage
Nuclear Power
Limits of Computation
Hydrogen
SC Electronic Applications
 
 

Note: All of the topics listed below also have
respective Wikipedia pages...check them out.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Electricity 101
(aka "Smart Grid," "Intelligrid," "Resilient Grid," whatever...)

"High-Power Electronics," N. O. Hingorani and K. E. Stahlkopf, Scientific American, 78 (November, 1993). [This article appeared shortly after I arrived at EPRI.  It addresses the "smart" control of transmission line power sharing using solid state silicon "hockey puck" thyristors.  It became know as "FACTS," Flexible AC Transmission System, today known as the "Smart" or "Flexible" or "Resilient" Grid...and several other "buzz word" descriptions.]
"Comparison of Costs and Benefits for DC and AC Transmission," J. P. Stovall, et al., ORNL Report 6204 (February, 1987). [A detailed 145 page comparison of the respective delivery challenges at the time.  Should be repeated to include HTSC.]
"Advancing the Application of Power Electronics to the Electric Power Infrastructure:  HVdc, FACTS and Custom Power," S. Nilsson (April, 2006).  [A preentation/review  of technology available at the time for implementing the "smart grid".]
 

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     Storage

 

"EPRI-DOE Storage Handbook," L. Mears, H. Gotschall, H. Kamath and S. Eckroad, EPRI Report 1001834, (December 2003). [An encyclopedia of electricity storage technologies, at least up to 2003.  Not much new as of 2016.]
"Summary:  Report of the ARB Independent Expert Panel 2007," F. Kalhammer, B. Kopf, D. Swan, V. Roan and M. Walsh (13 April 2007)  Full report here.
 
 

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    Nuclear Power
 

"The Need for Nuclear Power," R. Rhodes and D. Beller, Foreign Affairs, 30 (January/February, 2000). [Co-authored by Richard Rhodes of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb."  A compelling argument for the return of nuclear fission power when we humans finish oxidizing the last of loosely bound carbon atoms on the planet.]
"The Workings of an Ancient Nuclear Reactor," A. P. Meshik, Scientific American, 83 (2005). [About 2 billion years ago, enough uranium ore accumulated naturally in Okla, Gabon, Africa containing small random amounts of several percent U-235, sufficient to set off a self-sustaining fission reaction.  Moreover, sufficient volumes of U-238 were transmuted into Pu-239 and spontaneously fissioned...Earth's first breeder reactor.  There's very little new under the sum.]
"New Designs for the Nuclear Renaissance," G. H. Marcus and A. E. Levin, Physics Today (April, 2002).  [An excellent tutorial on past, present and, likely, future fission reactor power designs.]
 
"The Energy Amplifier," N. J. Engelsen, Homework Assignment, Physics 241 (Stanford University, Winter 2011). [An A++ exercise on the novel thorium reactor reactor design of Carlo Rubbia, former CERN Dirctor (work referenced to in the homework...click here to see the original CERN study).  An almost ideal design for the future energy needs of the planet...plenty of thorium in Earth's crust, little "waste," hard to weaponize and easy to shield.  Only problem is that it would to take a GeV size proton accelerator to ignite the reaction.]

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    Limits of Computation
When will "Moore meet Landauer," signaling the end of the Turing-Von Neumann Computer?

 

"Irreversibility and Heat Generation in the Computing Process," R. Landauer, IBM Journal (July 1961), p.183. [The original work addressing the physical limits of computation.  Monumental. I view this issue as perhaps one of the principal challenges for mid-21st century physics.]
"Minimal Energy Dissipation in Logic," R. W. Keyes and R. Landauer, IBM J. Res. Develop. (March 1970), p.152. [The authors show the thermodynamic limit of irreversible logic-based computation could be overcome...but only when the switching time would be infinitely long!]
"Logical Reversibility of Computation," C. H. Bennett, IBM J. Res. Develop. (November 1973), p.525. [A very thoughtful and provocative analysis of the alternative to irreversible computation...reversible computation!   Bennett offers the example of messenger DNA...a new Turing Machine...maybe.  But in the meantime, we still have to deal with the eventual end of Moore's Law.]
"Ultimate Physical Limits to Computation," S. Lloyd,, Nature 406, 1047 (2000). [Lloyd offers his design for the "ultimate laptop" (see Fig. 1) pushing its specs to the Landauer Limit.  Operating temperature would be on the order of 10^9 K...back at the Big Bang!]
"The Physical Basis of Computability," R. B. Laughlin, Computing in Science and Engineering, (May/June 2002), p.27. [An important exception to the Landauer Limit...according to Bob..."...use of simulation to search for new kinds of emergence.""]
"Computational Complexity for Physicists," S. Mertens, IEEE Computing in Science & Engineering (May/June 2002), p.31. [A highly technical review.  Contains a useful "Related Work" table of other "complexity" articles.  Also, some very useful summaries of when and where "quantum computation" hardware may be far for useful for complex algorithms difficult to code efficiently on a Turing-Von Neumann platform.]
"Eaters of the Lotus: Landauer's Principle and the Return of Maxwell's Demon," J. D. Norton, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 36 (2005), 375-411.  [A long and thoughtful review and criticism of the three IBM papers above.  Norton rejects a number of their theses and conclusions, most notably Landauer's assertion the erasure of a "bit" inevitably exacts a thermodynamic price of k_ln_2.]
"Energy Dissipation and Transport in Nanoscale Devices,"  E. Pop, Nano Res 3, 147-169 (2010).  [Addresses explicitly the consequences of the coming generation of nanoscale transistors and the consequences of the Landauer Limit in "cloud storage" at scale of 10^9 watt per switch!]
"Experimental Verification of Landauer's Principle Linking Information and Thermodynamics," A. Berut, et al., Nature 483, 187 (2012). [From the Abstract: "Using a system of a single colloidal particle trapped in a modulated double-well potential, we establish that the mean dissipated heat saturates at the Landauer bound in the limit of long erasure cycles."  Thus, there is now established experimentally that indeed a thermodynamic limit to irreversible Turing-Von Neumann digital computation exists.]
"Room at the Bottom," P. M. Grant, Physics World (July 2015), p.52. [A review of the biography of Gordon Moore, by Thakray, Brock and Jones.  Remaining question...what happens when Moore meets Landauer in the decade of the 2020's?]
 
"Big Data," D. J. Grant, 6th Grade Math Assignment (2012). [Now you'll really appreciate the evolution of the storage and switching of your 1's and 0's over the years.  Devin Grant sums up all the above references in a single slide.]

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    Hydrogen
George Bush: The Hydrogen Economy: State of the Union, 2003 

 

"Modeling Regional Hydrogen Infrastructure Development," Joan Ogden, H2A Meeting (NREL, Golden CO, 23 April 2003).  [A really great and insightful insight into the benefits and issues in implementing what is arguably the most reasonable...technically and economically...alternative to the "carbon society."  See especially her last slide.]
"Twenty Hydrogen Myths," Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute White Paper (20 June 2003). [A very interesting and in depth analysis of the "hydrogen" vision as of 2003, outlining a number of "political/social" issues in opposition. Make sure you click on the "little yellow" side links.   A great opportunity for "updating" the perspective in view of "time past."  Maybe a "master's thesis" in energy economy at some obscure academic institution such as Stanford...or even Harvard!]

"Hydrogen Lifts Off...With a Heavy Load," P.M. Grant, Nature 424, 129 (2003). [Maybe the most "fun" editorial I've written...to date, There are several "statistical details" I didn't have room to include, such as one source of possible "hydrogen substitute" for annual automotive carbon-based fuel, would be the top several meters of Lake Tahoe. We've had draughts in California, but as of New Year 2016, it seems over (and I now can now go skiing again).  But...Amory Lovins does not agree with my suggestion a return of nuclear fission power is the eventual solution to hydrogen generation...click here.  Comments welcome]

 
 

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    SC Electronic Applications
 
When will superconducting digital technology make money...or enhance our security...if ever?

 

"The Cryotron - A Superconductive Computer Component," D.A. Buck, Proc. IRE 44, 482 (1956). [Dudley Buck carried out and published this work shortly after I arrived at MIT Lincoln Lab in 1954 as a 19-year old IBM support programmer/technician on the SAGE project.  I remember Buck would occasionally have lunch with our team.  Buck's career and contributions to the birth of superconducting computer technology is summarized in David Brock's 2014 IEEE Spectrum article here.]
"Trapped-Flux Superconducting Memory," J.W. Crowe, IBM J. Res. Develop. (October 1957), p.297. [Jim Crowe introduced me to superconductivity while I was still a teenage mail boy at the IBM Poughkeepsie SAGE development lab.  The story is told in a 2011 article in Cold Facts, "Out into the Cold."  Click here. Several years later, Jim would become my mentor/manager in IBM Kingston during my summer college "breaks."  The work referenced here was more or less concomitant with that of Buck, but, in my opinion, more easily into the superconducting materials/refrigeration available at the time. We'll see.  In the meantime, check out Dick Garwin's review of Crowe's invention...here.]
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