Additional 8.21 resources

Links will be added here throughout the course

Files relevant to assignments

Description of optional extra credit paper due December 11 (Topic due by November 20)

Introduction to Mathematica and numerical integration/solution of equations (useful for PS 7 and beyond)

An alternative for those who know some python:scipy package for numerical integration, see also here for more info

Color version of Buffalo wind rose for assignment 10 problem

Errata to textbook draft and card

Errata to part I

Errata to part II

Errata for card

Exams and solutions

Quiz 1 from 2013 (with solutions)

Quiz 2 from 2013 (with solutions)

Example exams from previous years

Quiz 1 from 2012 (with solutions)

Quiz 1 from 2011 (solutions will be posted 10/4)

Quiz 1 from 2011 (with solutions)

[Note: in previous years the quizzes took place slightly earlier so covered slightly different ranges of material. This year, quiz 2 will cover nuclear, solar, ocean, and wind energy.]

Quiz 2 from 2012 (with solutions)

Quiz 2 from 2011 (solutions will be posted 11/8)

Quiz 2 from 2011 (with solutions)

Final from 2012 (with solutions)

Final from 2011 (solutions will be posted 12/14)

Final from 2011 (with solutions)

Online Resources referenced in lectures

Links will be added here throughout the course

Units and scales of energy use

Online Unit Converter

Heat Engines

Stirling engine animation
More info and links on Stirling engines
Buy a Stirling engine kit + more Stirling info/links

Nuclear Energy

Data on nuclei: National Nuclear Data Center "Nuclear wallet cards"

Solar Energy

AM0 and AM 1.5 solar reference spectra
Wikipedia solar thermal page with useful info, links
National Renewable Energy Lab: parabolic trough resources
NREL: Assessment of Parabolic Trough and Power Tower Solar Technology Cost and Performance Forecasts
Article on MIT students' low-cost solar dish, link to company


NREL photovoltaic research page: info and links
Article on PV cell with current record efficiency 44.7%

Ocean thermal energy

Online text: "Introduction to Physical Oceanography" by R. Stewart
(good background reading on heat balance, currents, ocean flow)

Wind power

Archer and Jacobson 2005 article: wind power potential 72 TW
Article arguing that wind potential < 1 TW

Hydro, Tidal and Wave Power

Group velocity and phase velocity of wave groups
Pelamis brochure
Big wave: Mike Parsons at "Jaws", Maui 2002. (wave height estimated 64 ft. (20 m))

Geothermal Power

NREL 2006 report on geothermal energy resources
MIT report on future of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)
Google on EGS, with video w/ sketch up graphics of Australian Habanero plant

Fossil Fuels

MIT report on the future of natural gas

Climate change

Arrhenius 1896 paper on warming from CO2
International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports (2007, 2013)
Current CO2 data
Hadley Centre global temperature data
Arctic sea ice data
Physics Today article on carbon sinks
World Meteorological Organization report on last decade weather/climate

General Web Resources

Departments & Organizations

International Energy Agency
U. S. Department of Energy
U. S. Energy Information Administration
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
U. S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


MIT Energy Club
MIT Energy Initiative


National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Guide to SI Units
Reaction Thermochemistry
Fluid properties
Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics

Books Online

Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air (David J.C. MacKay)