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Knowledge Is Power: The Future of Energy

Rob Tracinski

Matthew Boulton, of the 18th-century engineering firm Boulton & Watt, once boasted of his company's steam engines, "I sell here, sir, what all the world desires to have: power." He and James Watt had demonstrated the ultimate meaning of Francis Bacon's famous dictum "Knowledge is power." Watt's knowledge of the science of energy made it possible to create a transformative new source of power.

What is the new knowledge that is likely to create new sources or supplies of energy in the future?

There is no shortage of intriguing suggestions. Take tidal power. The Earth is circled by a giant generator called the Moon, which is constantly moving the oceans up and down as it passes. There is certainly an enormous amount of energy there, if we can harness it, and there have been a few successful experiments.


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