The Physical Principles of Energy and Sustainability in Italy

FACULTY-LED: PHY 1830-120 The Physical Principles of Energy and Sustainability in Italy (Study Abroad Program)

This 1-week program is offered in cooperation with Lorenzo de Medico (LdM) in Florence, Italy. The course will study the sustainable food and renewable energy infrastructure in Italy and compare this to the United States. Studies indicate that critical cooking habits and food traditions in the US are decreased compared to a generation ago while those in Italy remain strong. These habits have a large impact on the global energy system. Also, Italy’s renewable energy installations have increased rapidly in recent years, due in part to the country incentives to encourage this development. We will compare these differences in urban and rural environments from several perspectives including scientific, business, cultural, governmental, gender and art. Students enrolled in this PHY1830 course will attend classes in Boone for the first part of the spring semester to learn the basic conceptual physics of energy, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism as well as the physics of climate change. They will then travel to Italy for one week following graduation to apply these basic scientific concepts in country. Included in this experience will be tours of an urban food market, restaurant, art museum, and renewable energy installation. Additionally, LdM will provide lectures on various aspects of the food and energy system and will lead a culinary tour and cooking class in Florence’s Central Market. Finally, a bike tour of local farms in in Tuscany will allow students to see the food and energy practices in an Italian rural environment.


PHY 1830-120 – The Physical Principles of Energy and Sustainability – 3 credit hours (This course fulfills a Sustainability and Global Resources ILE general education requirement).