Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Notes on Wind Energy Costs

It was my understanding a wind farm comes in at about $1 million to $1.5 million / megawatt.

The Bison Wind Energy Center, just completed, in North Dakota: $500 million / 160 megawatts = $3,000,000/megawatt (the way the story is written, there exists some doubt, in my mind, that the numbers are entirely complete, but be that as it may: $300,000/MW). Corrected: see the comment from the second reader below.  Huge thanks to an alert reader.  The project is for 160 megawatts; cost is projected at $500 million. Cost per MW: about $3 million.

Off-shore, wind is, they say, more expensive. How much more expensive?

Cape Wind, off Massachusetts: $2.6 billion / 454 MW = $6 million/MW.

The London Array, phase I: 2.2 billion euros/630 MW (1 euro = $1.30); therefore, $2.86 billion/630 MW = $4.5 million/MW 

So, this is is what we have:
  • North Dakota: $3 million/MW.
  • On-shore average, wiki: $1 million/MW
  • Off-shore, London (England): $4.5 million/MW
  • Off-shore, Massachusetts: $6 million/MW
Disclaimer: I often make simple arithmetic errors.  

Solar Farms

Examples for cost comparisons:
Announced June 3, 2013: Universal Bioenergy Inc. announced that its subsidiary, NDR Energy Group, has signed ... with JSG Solar Inc., to build a solar power farm in eastern North Carolina, USA. The estimated cost to build the facility is $167 million. The project is projected to generate an estimated $301 million in revenues over 25 years. 
The solar facility would be built on approximately 425 acres of land and generate 80-100MW (megawatts) of electricity for sale to electric public utilities in the North Carolina service area. The estimated annual electricity production is 143.9 million kilowatt hours (kWh). 
  • one section of farmland; not dual-use
  • $167 million/100 MW = $1.67 million/MW 
  • $167 million / 25 years = $7 million/year
  • at 5% borrowing rate, $8 million/year in the early years just for interest payments
  • $300 - $170 = $130 million over 25 years = $5 million in revenue/year
  • reminder: profits = revenue - costs (simplified)

Kinder Morgan Cancels Plans For $2 Billion Freedom Pipeline, Permian To California

WSJ's take on this story.

Rigzone is reporting:
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP said Friday it has cancelled plans for the $2 billion Freedom pipeline, a conduit that would have brought a direct stream of West Texas crude to refiners on the U.S. West Coast.
The cancellation underscores the growing difficulty pipeline companies are having in selling new large-scale projects as oil producers and refiners increasingly rely on railroads to ship crude around. Once seen as temporary necessities to deliver oil from emerging oil-producing regions in Alberta, Texas and North Dakota, railcars have become a permanent fixture of the North American energy landscape because they allow refiners more diversity of supply.
This trend means that pipeline giants like Kinder Morgan will have to focus on smaller pipeline projects and branch out into other transportation segments.
I remember a couple years back, someone sending me a comment telling me that CBR was a temporary phenomenon. See also the WSJ story, May 24, 2013.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners first pitched the 277,000 barrel-a-day pipeline in April, hoping to woo West Coast refiners dependent on more expensive oil shipped in from Russia, Ecuador and about a dozen other countries. Refiners in the fuel-hungry California market are eager to buy the same cheaper domestic crude that is already benefiting their competitors in the Midwest and Gulf Coast.
But Valero Energy Corp., Tesoro Corp. and others operating on the West Coast turned Kinder Morgan's proposal down, saying railcars gave them more flexibility. Bringing west Texas crude oil via Freedom and its $5-a-barrel tariff would not be much cheaper than shipping crude oil via rail from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota but would tie refiners down to long-term pipeline contracts.
I personally think it's a hoot -- CBR -- day in, day out, trains rolling down the track, burning fossil fuel and spewing CO2. Flexible, scalable, and manpower intensive. All those SUV's at RRX's, idling, waiting for the 110-car unit trains to pass. What's not to love.

And this is the irony: it's not even the activist environmentalists pushing their agenda any more; it's the big bad oil companies that have decided that "the track is back." 

For investors: check out Genesse & Wyoming. Another great opportunity. It's p/e is only 43.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any decisions based on anything you read here or think you read here.  

Something tells me Jim Croce is smiling:

Railroad Son, Jim Croce

In his dreams, riding the rails to California; looks like it's no longer a dream. "The track is back." The song kinda reminds me of that other singer...John Denver.

Take Me Home, John Denver

To The Granddaughters

John Denver's "Take Me Home" used to bring tears. There are many, many songs I associate with one of the most remarkable summers of my life, and "Country Roads, Take Me Home" was one of the best.

Texas Is #1 In Production; But North Dakota Is #1 In Year-Over-Year Percentage Increase

Carpe Diem is reporting:
1. Two states – North Dakota and New Mexico – established new all-time monthly oil production levels in March, with annual increases of 35.7% and 23.5% respectively.
2. Texas crude oil output in March – at 2.369 million barrels per day – was the highest in slightly more than 27 years, going back to February 1986, and increased by more than 30.5% over last March.  As I reported yesterday, the Lone Star State produced one-third of all US crude oil output in March, the highest share ever.
3. Oil production during the month of March in Oklahoma was the highest in more than 20 years, and oil output in Wyoming was the highest in almost 13 years.
4. For the country, the US produced more crude oil in March than in any month since October 1992, more than 20 years ago.
Sequentially, month-over-month, it will get increasingly difficult to set new records, but year-over-year records should continue to be broken for another year or so.

A Note To The Granddaughters

The house is very, very quiet. Everybody went to the movies to celebrate the older granddaughter's birthday. Her birthday is later this summer but she won't be around then, moving to a new city. So, she gets her sleepover tonight and her younger sister, whose birthday is also later this summer, gets her sleepover next week.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting outside in the backyard, typing on the laptop (the keyboard lights up), under a cloudless night sky. I'm looking for the evening star but may not see it due to light pollution. A bit warm still but absolutely no bugs (no mosquitoes, in other words) which really, really surprises me. No sports on television as far as I know. Even The Oil Drum is very, very quiet. Contributors there suggest that it's time to move on from the subject of "peak oil."

I've told this story before. While going to graduate school in southern California back in the early 70's I experienced the oil embargo. I started riding the bus but my roommate never stopped driving his car. The embargo ended and sometime between then and now, I realized that there would never be a "true" shortage of energy in my lifetime. Any shortage will be artificial and man-made.  It was a huge revelation.

Right now it certainly appears we could have a have a relative glut of oil/gasoline over the new few years. Supply is getting ahead of demand, and demand won't start being a problem until the Chinese move to a new demand level.


I saw Jerry Jeff some years ago in the oldest dance hall still in existence in Texas. In college, I always thought the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was the originator of this song. Wrong. 

This is another song that begs the question: do men/women write these songs, or are some songs delivered by angels?

Mr Bojangles, Jerry Jeff Walker

North Dakota Recognized For Permanent Economic Growth: The Silver Shovel Award


January 10, 2015: North Dakota did not make the cut for the Silver Shovel Award in 2014.

June 11, 2013: the same story, but at MSN Money.

June 7, 2013: North Dakota GDP growth tops in US; exceeds GDP growth of China.

June 6, 2013: North Dakota's economy -- #1 in US -- third consecutive year

Original Post

I posted this link/story earlier today, but for reasons that will become obvious later, I am posting it again, and expanding upon it.

First, the link/story in The Dickinson Press:
For the first time ever, North Dakota is being recognized by Area Development Magazine for its permanent economic growth.
Released Wednesday, North Dakota was one of 15 states to be honored with the Silver Shovel Award given by the site selection and facility planning quarterly. Four other states — Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Kansas — received Golden Shovel awards for being the top in their population category.
Each state had to pick 10 projects that represented permanent economic growth for the state, Editor Geraldine Gambale said from her Long Island, N.Y., office.


I wasn't able to find the list of ten projects that North Dakota submitted, but here is my list, hoping that readers will let me know of major projects I missed. I'm not sure how to manage the oil-related projects; I will sort that out as we go along.

ONEOK: Bakken Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline and Stateline I and II and Garden Creek I, II and III natural gas processing plants

The Minn-Dak beet processing plant in Wahpeton

The Ultra Green Packaging factory in Devils Lake

Expansion of BNSF facilities in Minot; marketing headquarters in Bismarck

North Dakota State Bank: unique in the US

Port of North Dakota

#1 producer of several agricultural products; among top 5 for several other products

United Pulse Trading expansion in Minot

WAWS bringing potable water to numerous western communities

Proposed fertilizer plants in Jamestown ($1.2 billion); Grand Forks ($1.5 billion)

Two dozen crude-by-rail terminals established in less than five years

Numerous major pipeline projects: oil and natural gas

Bobcat expansion/re-emergence in Bismarck

North Dakota ranks third in percent of electricity production from wind energy (Iowa #1, South Dakota #2)

North Dakota ranks #1 in barley production, key to beer production (this alone should qualify us for the Golden Shovel award next year)

UND's Department of Aviation: largest collegiate training fleet

Great Plains Synfuels Plant uses thirteen percent of North Dakota’s yearly coal production to produce synthetic natural gas. This is the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the U.S., producing 54 billion cubic feet per year, most of which is piped to eastern states

Construction has begun on first new refinery in the United States since 1976 in the Dickinson area; two more planned

It's Raining In The Bismarck Area And Setting Records; Flooding Is Predicted

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
Bismarck continued to add to its record rainfall total for May as rain persisted Friday. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Bismarck recorded 7.24 inches of rain for the month of May, eclipsing the record of 7.04 inches set in 1927. Bismarck received measurable rain May 16-21, none May 22, 23, 24 or 28 and measurable rain the rest of the month.
For Bismarck, five of the top 17 years for rainfall have come since the year 2000. The ninth wettest year in terms of rain came in 2011 — 23.22 inches. The 10th wettest was in 2010 with 23.18 inches. The 11th wettest was 2009 with 23.12 inches. The 12th wettest was in 2000 with 23 inches. The 17th wettest year was in 2001 with 21.34 inches of rain.

Imagine What Statoil Could Do If The CEO Had A Sense Of Urgency

When the following was reported in Petroleum News it generated a lot of discussion and concern:
Statoil’s business model, according to Bull, is to take a longer-term view of onshore production, an approach he describes as somewhat anathema in the onshore world.
“We’re long-term investors, so we don’t shy away from 10 to 20-year horizons and even more. And we’re used to this with the offshore world. As you know, finding oil and gas in the offshore world takes at least 10 years to actually start getting the production going, and then you expect another 20, 30 maybe 40 years of production after that.
So we think in terms of decades in our investment horizon.”
That was back on April 14, 2013.

Let's look at the last two daily activity reports regarding Statoil.

Thursday, yesterday:
  • 21875, 2,047, Statoil, Bratcher 10-3 2H, Ragged Butte, t3/13; cum 5K 3/13;
  • 21876, 3,153, Statoil, Lonnie 15-22 1H, Ragged Butte, t4/13; cum --
  • 22511, 928, Statoil, Bratcher 10-3 3TFH, Ragged Butte, t3/13; cum 3K 3/13;
  • 22807, 3,793, Statoil, Richard 8-5 2H, Banks ,t4/13; cum --
  • 22872, 3,091, Statoil, Pyramid 15-22 4H, Todd, t3/13; cum 12K 3/13;
  • 22873, 2,835, Statoil, Pyramid 15-22 3H, Todd, t3/13; cum 9K 3/13;
  • 22874, 1,884, Statoil, Pyramid 15-22 2TFH, Todd, t3/13; cum 3K 3/13;
  • 22875, 2,341, Statoil, Pyramid 15-22 1H, Todd, t3/13; cum 600 3/13;
  • 22941, 2,581, Statoil, West Bank 26-23 1H, t3/13; cum --
  • 22942, 2,274, Statoil, Sullivan WMA 35-2 1H, t4/13; cum --
Friday, today:
  • 22900, 3,660, Statoil, Topaz 20-17 3H, Banks, 4/13; cum --
  • 22901, 3,225, Statoil, Samson 29-32 3H, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 23740, 2,311, Statoil, Jerome Anderson 15-10 6H, Alger, t4/13; cum --
  • 21815, 4,680, Statoil, Richard 8-5 1H, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 22322, 4,630, Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 2TFH, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 22644, 1,168, Statoil, Jerome Anderson 15-10 2TFH, Alger, t4/13; cum --
Imagine what Statoil could do if they had a sense of urgency. As my daughter would text, LOL.

By the way, how do these IPs stack up with the record IPs in the Bakken? FAQ #9:
Again, the initial production of any well, self-reported by the producer, is becoming less meaningful over time. Having said that, it looks like the record IP for a Bakken well is now 5,200a Newfield well (July, 2011): 
  • 18691, 5,200, NFX, Wisness Federal 152-96-4-2H, Westberg, Bakken.
Two earlier wells: a Whiting well which had an IP of 4,761 boepd: file #17612, 4,761 boepd IP, Whiting, Maki 11-27H, Mountrail County, Sanish field.  This is still current as of February 20, 2010. Since then, BEXP claims to have set a record with the Sorenson 29-32 1-H, #18654, with a 24-hour flowback of 5,133 bopd. However, the NDIC reported an IP of 2,944. BEXP also reported the Jack Cvancara 19-18 #1H in the Ross project area with a 24-hour flowback of 5,035.
 (Note: mixing "boe" and "bbls of oil" also confounds the issue, of course.)


For more on the Pyramid wells, click here
For more on the Cheryl and Richard wells, click here.

Seven (7) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Fifteen (15) Producing Wells Completed -- Statoil Has Some Huge Wells

Active rigs: 187 (steady, trending up)

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: Oasis (4), XTO (2), Petro-Hunt
  • Fields: Killdeer (Dunn), North Tioga (Burke), Enget Lake (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Rare to see a well in Enget Lake (northwest Mountrail County, west/abuts Cottonwood; immediately south of Powers Lake)
There were no wells coming off the confidential list today.

Fifteen (15) producing wells completed:
  • 22900, 3,660, Statoil, Topaz 20-17 3H, Banks, 4/13; cum --
  • 22901, 3,225, Statoil, Samson 29-32 3H, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 23740, 2,311, Statoil, Jerome Anderson 15-10 6H, Alger, t4/13; cum --
  • 21815, 4,680, Statoil, Richard 8-5 1H, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 21418, 584, CLR, Larson 3-21H, Sauk, t4/13; cum 17K 4/13;
  • 23130, 976, Hess, SC-Norman 154-98-3130H-4, Truax, t5/13; cum 10K 4/13;
  • 23572, 934, Hess, AN-Bohmbach 153-94-2734H-4, Antelope, t5/13; cum 6K 4/13;
  • 24556, A, Whiting, Lacey 21-1TFH, no other data; flowing, no pump;
  • 24828, 1,341, Whiting, Hansen 13-20TFX, Sanish, t4/13; cum --
  • 24555, 1,993, Whiting, Lacey 21-1H, Sanish, t4/13; cum --
  • 24961, 1,726, Whiting, Meiers 44-18H, Sanish, t5/13; cum --
  • 22322, 4,630, Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 2TFH, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 22644, 1,168, Statoil, Jerome Anderson 15-10 2TFH, Alger, t4/13; cum --
  • 24075, 1,371, MRO,  Hansen Ranch 34-10TFH, Bailey, t4/13; cum 2K cum --
  • 24829, 678, Whiting, Hansen 14-20TFX, Sanish, t4/13; cum --

The "Real Reason" Why Millennials Don't Buy Cars And Homes: They're Broke; Remember -- This Is The Worse Economic Recovery In US History; Unemployed Rate High; Underemployed Rate At Record Levels; Record Number on Disability; Record Number Using Food Stamps; And It Isn't Getting Better For Urban Youth (Think Detroit)


Later, 3:36 pm: Above, I noted it "wasn't getting any better," but I honestly did not think it would get worse so soon after the original post.

Just after posting the note below, broadcast media said Tesla was raising the price-point for its most affordable car. I can't make this stuff up.

Here's the story. PlugInCars is reporting
The long-term vision of Tesla Motors has always been to enter the mainstream auto market with high-volume electric cars. Its niche expensive models—the Roadster and Model S—were positioned as luxury stepping-stones, to build experience and brand awareness as it moves down market to affordability.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg last week that his company expects in three to four years to offer a car to compete against the Nissan LEAF—claiming that Tesla’s future affordable mass-market car will cost “below $40,000.”

Wait a second.

I thought the bogey was $30,000. At least, that’s what Musk told Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria in July 2008. “We think we could either directly or in partnership with a major auto company actually get to a car that is under $30,000 in four years,” he said. If taken at face value, that would mean a $30,000 car by, well, this year. (I realize that Musk said this prior to the financial crisis.) 
Wow, it's been that long? 2008 plus four years = 2013?

For the millennials, I guess.

And now the "inexpensive" model is $10,000 more expensive. [BOE: 10/30 = 33% increase in price and no sign of the car.]

Original Post

Don sent me a link to this story: Yahoo!Finance is telling us the "real reason" millennials don’t buy cars and homes. I saw the story earlier and had not planned to post/comment on it, but I gave it a fair amount of thought. Then when Don sent me another article with the same theme, I thought it worthwhile to note my thoughts for my granddaughters some years from now.

My minimally edited reply:
I saw this story (different paper, different writer) but same theme.

My first thought: urban-centric; east-coast-centric writer.

1. Midwest: folks need a car

2. California: folks need a car

3. NYC, Boston, DC: huge population centers; relatively robust public transportation system; skews the data.

4. The story kind of reminds me of Aesop's fable: the wolf that couldn't reach the grapes (too high) and walked away, rationalizing they would be sour grapes any way.  There seems to be a stable of writers who write from a different planet. But go to any airport news stand, and look at all the magazines where cars are featured.

5. To me, this is a just a story to help make those who can't afford a car to feel better about their lot in life, that they are not alone. But, I bet any 18-y/o in NYC, DC, or Boston, who was offered a free Ford Mustang or a free F-150 would jump for it.

6. I don't often have a car, but that's not by choice. I love driving. The article, when I first saw it, was simply fluff -- suggesting the writer, as I noted above, was urban-centric, east-coast centric. But the muscle car is alive and well in California. And, if anything, the young Hispanics love muscle cars. I bet the same in Florida.
And guys don't get gals without cars:

Modesto, California, Car Show

There's a reason following the release of the movie "Cars" that, according to wiki, related merchandise, including scale models of several of the cars, broke records for retail sales of merchandise based on a Disney·Pixar film, with an estimated $5 billion in sales.

Modesto, California, Car Show

I don't think automobile manufacturers have anything to fear.

A Tipping Point For The Transformation Of North Dakota's Economy?

A recurring theme or conversation one hears in North Dakota has to do with economic development beyond agriculture and oil/gas. It seems folks are struggling to find some industry that would fit the state, but they keep coming up against dead ends.

Until now.

The invisible hand of free market capitalism seems to be providing an answer that folks have been struggling to find.

I'm thinking of the fertilizer plants going up on the east side of the state, Jamestown ($1.2 billion) and Grand Forks ($1.5 billion).

Yesterday, MDU/MBI announces a $700 million-pipeline project to take natural gas from western North Dakota (the Bakken) to western Minnesota, but readers quickly noted that this same pipeline could carry feedstock to these fertilizer plants.

Now, Don, notes this story in The Bismarck Tribune:
BNSF Railway is opening an economic development office in downtown Bismarck, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Thursday.
Dalrymple said the new BNSF office, in the Wells Fargo Building at 400 E. Broadway Ave., will house economic development, sales and marketing staff to enhance the railway company’s customer services.
BNSF Railway employs more than 1,500 people in North Dakota and has hired more than 400 employees within the last two years, the governor’s statement said.
It will only be a matter of time before we start reading stories about BNSF shipping North Dakota fertilizer nationwide

Note: the economic development center is not in the middle of the Bakken; it is not even in Minot where so much of its activity is located in North Dakota. It is not even in Minnesota. Which brings me to the next story from The Dickinson Press:
With some of the state’s most prominent political leaders looking on and close to 200 people packing the New Salem City Auditorium, top executives from Minnesota Power/ALLETE touted their $500 million baby — a 50,000-acre network of over 100 wind turbines in Oliver and Morton counties.
“We’ve been here and we intend to stay here for the long haul,” said ALLETE CEO Al Hodnik. “North Dakota is both energy rich, but, most importantly, policy-friendly. I can’t say that about Minnesota, the state I grew up in, but North Dakota is good for business and good for our company.
I have not got one good word to say about wind energy. Wind turbines have NO redeeming feature in my mind. Activist environmentalists know the devastating effect they will have on migratory birds and if they can live with that, it's beyond me to say anything else. It shows their true colors. Activist environmentalists are not interested in the environment; they are interested in anarchy.

Having said that, yes, the rapidity with which Bismarck makes decisions (or refrains from putting up more obstacles) is incredible.

And, as I've said before, it gives the governor a seat at the table when the feds and the states meet to discuss energy.

Now, back to the original point: this trifecta is not trivial -- two billion-dollar fertilizer plants outside the oil patch; a three-quarter-billion-dollar pipeline to move feedstock to these plants; and, millions of dollars in railroad upgrades to move the fertilizer.

I've maintained for quite some time, developers are concentrating too hard on figuring out how to capitalize on opportunities inside the oil patch, but they are hog-tied by another trifecta: lack of workers; lack of infrastructure (particularly transportation); and very high-priced land in the oil patch. Eastern North  Dakota, by comparison, offers a better opportunity.

I wonder if the fertilizer plants represent a tipping point in the transformation of North Dakota's economy? Fertilizer is not often thought of as related to the oil patch, and even without the Bakken, there will be sources of natural gas from Montana and Canada. It looks like the fertilizer plants may even push BNSF to a new level in North Dakota.


Related: The Dickinson Press is reporting:
For the first time ever, North Dakota is being recognized by Area Development Magazine for its permanent economic growth.
Released Wednesday, North Dakota was one of 15 states to be honored with the Silver Shovel Award given by the site selection and facility planning quarterly. Four other states — Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Kansas — received Golden Shovel awards for being the top in their population category.
Each state had to pick 10 projects that represented permanent economic growth for the state, Editor Geraldine Gambale said from her Long Island, N.Y., office.
“We don’t include retail, commercial or construction type jobs — things of that nature that would be temporary,” Gambale said. “It’s based on high valuated jobs.”

The ONEOK pipeline project in McKenzie County was one of the 10 projects the North Dakota Department of Commerce submitted.

Friday Morning News And Links

Active rigs: 186 (steady)

RBN Energy: TransCanada's Mainline conversion to oil, part I.
The proposal involves converting approximately 1865 miles of TransCanada’s existing Canadian Mainline to crude oil service and constructing up to 870 miles of new pipeline. If approved by Canadian regulators, the Energy East pipeline will have the capacity to transport between 500,000 bopd and 850,000 bopd. The Open Season closes on June 17, 2013 and if there is sufficient shipper interest, TransCanada will proceed with applications for regulatory approval. If those approvals are granted then the project is expected to be in-service to Montréal and Québec City in 2017 and to St John in 2018.
WSJ Links

Section M (Mansion): seldom read

Section D (Arena):
Section C (Money & Investing):
Section B (Marketplace):
Section A:
A Note To The Granddaughters

While attending her high school graduation, our niece recommended a book her dad had given her: The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn.

This is a very challenging book to read. The author revisits the history of the development of the theory of quantum mechanics through transcribed interviews of the key players as the theory is being developed. Of course, the conversations are imagined, but based on notes, letters, and interviews and copiously sourced with end notes.

It is extremely "wordy" with an incredible amount of unnecessary, or so it would seem, descriptions of the settings and tangential conversation. It is difficult to stay focused in many cases.

It is best to simply press on, not get bogged down while reading. Of course, the subject matter contributes to the difficulty in reading the book.

It is the author's first book. She was 25 years old when the book was published; it seems I read somewhere she spent eight to nine years working on the book. That means she might have been as young as 16 years of age when she was inspired by a high school teacher to really try to understand quantum mechanics.

Two takeaways from the book. First, one learns that unlike some theories or scientific discoveries, quantum mechanics was the product of dozens of mathematicians and physicists. The process was messy and the results messier. More than 80 years after much of the original work was done, the theory seems as difficult as ever.

The second takeaway was the answer to my question: when was quantum mechanics "discovered." Unlike calculus which we can narrow down to a specific year and mathematician (or two), or the structure of two-stranded DNA which we can narrow down to an exact month, if not day, and specific "scientists," that is not true for quantum mechanics. The tipping point was the Solvay conference in 1927, which is considered one of the most famous conferences ever. Over the next five years, the theory was "developed" by multiple individuals.

And I forget who first used the phrase, quantum mechanics. It will be a hard book to outline for my literature blog.

This book should not be read unless one has a good background in the pop literature of quantum mechanics.