Welcome to my Physics 212 website on Geothermal Energy

My website covers many physical and economical  and historical aspects on the topic of geothermal energy. In viewing my site I hope everyone has the opportunity to learn about all the fascinating possiblitities that geothermal energy has to offer.


Geothermal energy has been used for thousands of years. The Chinese were the first to discover a pool that was fed by a hot spring in 300 BC. The Romans were the next civilization to utilize thermal springs in intuative ways. They used the springs to heat their public baths as well as the floors in their homes. The first heating system in Boise Idaho was powered by geothermal energy in 1892. The systems were also used to heat greenhouses in both Idaho, Iceland, and Tuscany. The world started to focus on even more applications of geothermal energy and by 1852 Lord Kelvin had invented the heat pump which could convert thermal energy into mechanical energy. Over the years the heat pump was refined and perfected and the first commercial use of a geothermal heat pump was in the Commonwealth Building in Portland Oregon were it was used to heat and cool the building. The technology became more and more popular over the years espescially during the 1973 oil crisis. The invention of polybutylene pipe in 1979 greatly increased the power sources economic feasibility since it was the first cheap flexible pipe that could be used for applications such as geothermal systems.

Image of the first geothermal power plant in Italy, 1904. [1]