I was watching a TV show about the universe on the History Channel. Scientists have, since the time of Newton, used mathematics to model the physical world. Much of the modeling has been to describe motion and gravity. Einstein developed the notion of Space-time surfaces that warp in the presence mass. Einstein did not subscribe to the notion of an expanding universe even though his math supported this phenomenon. In order for the big bang theory to hold, there has to be this initial state where all the four fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear forces, and weak nuclear forces) were all combined in a single force. When the big bang occurred the gravitational force was the first to split and break away from the other three forces. Soon thereafter the three other forces also split apart. An observation that led to the unified force theory and the initial inflation after the big bang is that most of the outer universe has the same temperature. This can only be explained in that the initial inflation (Guth's theory) occurred at a speed faster than the speed of light. This is very scary stuff and makes my head spin. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/hawking/mysteries/html/guth_1.html
All this physics is fine, but we still have the basic inflation problem of high energy prices on planet earth billions of years after the big bang. Physicists and chemists are trying to develop nano-systems to store more electrical energy so we can use less gasoline and deploy plug in hybrids. This company in Texas (EEstor) claims to have an ultra-capacitor that can store enough electricity to allow an automobile to travel 500 miles. All of this energy is claimed to be placed into the ultra capacitor in five minutes. The rate the electricity is transferred exceeds 1 Mega Watt, so don't rush to buy one of these gizmos as you will need 10,000 amp service in your home at 110 volts. The typical home has 100 to 200 amps of service. If the ultra capacitor short circuits we could reenact the Big Bang right here in planet earth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEStor
A much more likely technology for hybrids and plug in hybrids will be lithium batteries that recharge in three to four hours and let you travel a distance of approximately 100 miles. The recharge rate will be limited by the electrical service that PG&E has connected to your home. I am now doing an hour long radio show on Wednesdays at noon on blog talk radio. Last week I opined on the technical possibilities of the lithium batteries and how they may be the winner of the $300 million prize John McCain has proposed to leapfrog current automotive technology to gain increased fuel efficiency. The show can be heard either by calling on the phone at 347 838 8999 or using your computer to go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/AlternativeEnergyCom
One final word, our neighboring town of Mill Valley, California recently hired a sustainability consultant to guide the city on green policy. The consultant will be paid $30,000 a year. I say Tiburon – Belvedere where I live should leapfrog Mill Valley and let me consult to our town councils and make 94920 the greenest Zip Code in the nation. Maybe I could even run for mayor and my campaign slogan will be “Be Green Vote Leveen”.