John K. White [Curiculum vitae]

John K. White is an Irish-Canadian physicist, writer, and educator. He is the editor of the energy news service E21NS and author of The Truth About Energy (Cambridge University Press, 2024) on the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, Do The Math! (Sage, 2013) on economics, statistics, and numeracy, and The House of Words (Tuttle House, 2013), a novel about the adventures of New York state Scrabble champ Suzy Quest and the search for her spy father. A former lecturer in the School of Physics, UCD Dublin, he has written for the American magazine CounterPunch, numerous other publications, and blogs about his adventures in Spain in Caracolas.

TTAEThe Truth About Energy cover What type of radiation is heat? Why was James Watt's steam engine unique? Who made the first functional solar cell? What is the difference between a solar cell and a LED? Where are the world's largest onshore and offshore wind farms? When and where was the first geothermal power plant? Is hydroelectric power green? What is VPP and V2G? Can we power a house from a car?

The transition to renewable energy is vital and fast-paced, but how do we choose which technologies to drive this energy transition? This timely book provides everyone interested in the renewable energy transition with an introduction to and technical foundation for understanding modern energy technology. It traces everyday power generation through history, from the Industrial Revolution to today. It examines the use of wood, coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear to produce energy, before discussing renewable energy sources such as biomass, photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, wind, wave, and geothermal. The book examines to what extent and how each technology can contribute to a clean, green infrastructure. The Truth About Energy explains the science and engineering of energy to help everyone understand and compare current and future advances in renewable energy, providing the context to critically examine the different technologies that are competing in a fast-evolving engineering, political, and economic landscape.

                     Cambridge      Amazon      Intro      Contents

Do the Math cover

  • How do pyramid scams work? • Are reality television shows fair? •
• Why are sports so uncompetitive? • Who really broke the bank in 2009?

Do the Math! is a refreshing look at mathematical concepts and moral dilemmas in the increasingly more numerate world of everyday living. Aiming to popularize and inform, Do the Math! does for numbers what Eats, Shoots, and Leaves does for words.

Quotes and comments
"One can pop it open anywhere with equal reward."
"The style is VERY easy to read and unusually entertaining."
"The core concept of the inherent morality of mathematics is excellent."

                     Sage      Amazon      Intro      Reviews

The House of Words cover Synopsis
A note with the single word 'curare' found in the empty apartment of four-time New York State Scrabble champion Suzy Quest starts a dizzying search for her missing parents. At the heart of her search is The House of Words, a book she believes was written by her father, a protester from the Seventies who left his family under mysterious circumstances twenty years earlier and may now be working as a deep cover spy.

Is The House of Words a code detailing the workings of an international conspiracy? Is it bait for a power struggle at the top of the reformed agency? Is it Suzy's father's apologia for disappearing from her life?

Part Dan Brown, part Thomas Pynchon, The House of Words is an intellectual thriller that peels back the gloss on modern intrigue, espionage, and the search for meaning.

Quotes and comments
"Thoroughly enjoyed it. Great pace and excellent dialogue."
"It's a wonderful journey with a thrilling love story."
"If you like Scrabble, spy stories, and poignant satire this book is for you."

                     Chapters 1-3      Amazon (Kindle)