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The Dictionary of Energy

By: , Posted on: November 4, 2014

Dictionary of EnergyWhile energy has always been a driving force in the evolution of human culture, its importance has reached new heights in the first decade of the 21st century. Due to its overarching macroeconomic importance, energy is now a precious commodity in global financial markets.

Energy issues pervade global geopolitics, and will continue to do so in light of the increasing concentration of oil supplies in the Middle East coupled with rising global energy demand. Energy is central to global environmental change as emissions from energy use contribute significantly to the human component of climate change. Finally, and most importantly, access to modem energy services is a fundamental prerequisite to the alleviating the poverty from the lives of the three billion people living below subsistence level.

There is a wealth of information about energy, but it is spread across many books, journals, websites, disciplines, ideologies, and user communities. Information about energy tends to target either a particular form of energy or a specific audience. There is no central repository of information that meets diverse user communities, and no primary machinery of communication among those communities. These characteristics of energy information define the formidable barrier to successful teaching and learning related to energy, a barrier we seek to significantly erode, if not eliminate, with the Dictionary of Energy.

The Dictionary of Energy, Second Edition includes 10,000 headwords and 13,000 defined entries in all. This entry selection provides a comprehensive description of the vocabulary currently used in the context of energy. In order for a word to qualify for inclusion in the Dictionary, it has to be either a term that is specific to one or more of the subject areas of energy covered in the book, or it has to be a general term that has a specialized use in energy; e.g., the use of the terms sweet and sour to refer to oil and gas components. It also has to be sufficiently qualified in terms of two criteria— frequency and range. Frequency is the sheer number of times that the term occurs in the literature, and range is the variety of reputable sources in which it appears.

Subject Areas

In the planning stage of the Dictionary project, we identified 40 different subject areas that collectively encompass the vocabulary of the energy field. Subject areas of the Dictionary include familiar industrial forms of energy, such as Coal, Electricity, Nuclear, and Oil & Gas, and also alternative forms such as Geothermal, Hydrogen, Solar, and Wind. Disciplines of general science that have special relevance to energy are also included, such as Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, and Thermodynamics. Other subject areas deal with energy related processes and functions, such as Conversion, Lighting, Mining, Refrigeration, and Transportation. In addition, the Dictionary includes subject areas that are outside the conventional realm of energy but that either impact energy use (e.g., Economics & Business, Organizations, Policy) or are impacted by it (e.g., Climate Change, Environment, Health and Safety).

Dictionary of Energy, second edition is available for purchase on the Elsevier Store. Use discount code “STC3014” at checkout to save up to 30%!

About the Authors

cutler cleveland biopicCutler J. Cleveland is the Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University, where he also holds the position of Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment. Dr. Cleveland is Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Energy (Elsevier Science, 2004), winner of an American Library Association award, Editor-in-Chief of the Dictionary of Energy (Elsevier Science, in press) and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecological Economics. Dr. Cleveland is a member of the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Energy Statistics, an advisory group to the Department of Energy, and a participant in the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum. He has been a consultant to numerous private and public organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, Charles River Associates, the Technical Research Centre of Finland, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the MacArthur Foundation have supported his research.

Dr. Cleveland’s research focuses on the ecological-economic analysis of how energy and materials are used to meet human needs. His research employs the use of econometric models of oil supply, natural resource scarcity, and the relation between the use of energy and natural resources and economic systems. Dr. Cleveland publishes in journals such as Nature, Science, Ecological Modeling, Energy, The Energy Journal, The Annual Review of Energy, Resource and Energy Economics, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and Ecological Economics. He has won publication awards from the International Association of Energy Economics and the National Wildlife Federation.

Christopher Morris is owner of Morris Books and a professional lexicographer who has edited more than 20 different dictionaries on a wide variety of subjects. He is editor in chief of the award-winning Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology, which provides the largest vocabulary of science yet compiled and features special essays by 120 eminent scientists, including nine Nobel laureates.

He served as chief editor of the Macmillan school dictionary series, which includes several of the largest-selling educational dictionaries in U.S. history. He has also been an author of school and college textbooks and has compiled many different scientific glossaries, for fields such as ecology, endocrinology, microbiology, oncology, reproductive biology, and toxicology. He and Cutler Cleveland previously collaborated on the Encyclopedia of Energy, winner of an American Library Association award, for which Dr. Cleveland was editor in chief and he served as chief development editor.

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Alternative & Renewable Energy

Renewable energy technology and science are rapidly evolving as demand for alternative energy increases worldwide, with far-reaching implications for global economies, public policy, industrial development, and the environment. The vital research being done in these areas is reflected in Elsevier’s journals, books, eBooks, and information solutions. Our products cover fundamental scientific and technological advances in solar, wind, power transmission, smart grids, and more, with a focus on improving energy efficiency and output among key sectors.