March 19, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 12

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    Is solar energy a viable option for society?

    Is solar energy a serious option for society? Can it ever provide a significant part of mankind's energy needs? What systems are needed to harness and convert this form of energy?

    These questions and more will be addressed by Harald Ries, Visiting Scholar in the Enrico Fermi Institute, in the spring Arthur H. Compton Lectures, "Solar Energy: The Future Option?"

    Ries, who comes to the University from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, will review the scientific principles behind the use of solar energy. In a series of 10 lectures, he will cover topics ranging from the fusion processes inside the sun to the quantity and quality of solar radiation reaching the earth; from domestic hot water systems to solar power plants; and from the photosynthesis of green plants to photovoltaic cells. The goal of this series is to help participants form an educated opinion on energy issues.

    The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturdays from March 28 through June 6 (except April 11), in Kersten 115 (use southwest entrance). No scientific background is needed. For more information, visit the Compton Lectures web site, ars-www.uchicago.edu/physics/compton.html or call 702-7823.