"You have changed my life" is a common refrain in the emails Walter Lewin receives daily from fans who have been enthralled by his world-famous video lectures about the wonders of physics. "I walk with a new spring in my step and I look at life through physics-colored eyes," wrote one such fan. When Lewin's lectures were made available online, he became an instant YouTube celebrity, and the New York Times declared, "Walter Lewin delivers his lectures with the panache of Julia Child bringing French cooking to amateurs and the zany theatricality of YouTube's greatest hits."
For more than 30 years as a beloved professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lewin honed his singular craft of making physics not only accessible but truly fun, whether putting his head in the path of a wrecking ball, supercharging himself with 300,000 volts of electricity, or demonstrating why the sky is blue and why clouds are white.
Now, as Carl Sagan did for astronomy and Brian Green did for cosmology, Lewin takes listeners on a marvelous journey in For the Love of Physics, opening our eyes as never before to the amazing beauty and power with which physics can reveal the hidden workings of the world all around us. "I introduce people to their own world," writes Lewin, "the world they live in and are familiar with but don't approach like a physicist - yet."
Could it be true that we are shorter standing up than lying down? Why can we snorkel no deeper than about one foot below the surface? Why are the colors of a rainbow always in the same order, and would it be possible to put our hand out and touch one? Whether introducing why the air smells so fresh after a lightning storm, why we briefly lose (and gain) weight when we ride in an elevator, or what the Big Bang would have sounded like had anyone existed to hear it, Lewin never ceases to surprise and delight with the extraordinary ability of physics to answer even the most elusive questions.
©2011 Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein (P)2011 Tantor
"As joyful as Richard Feynman's Lectures in Physics (but without the math), this text (written with the aid of University of Hartford historian Goldstein) glows with energy and should please a wide range of readers." (Publishers Weekly)
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
A very useful book. I do not pretend to understand all these science books I keep reading (!), but I am getting more and more inside my head. Lewin is very good at making things interesting, particularly when he draws upon our real life experiences as examples. So why 3 stars? I am not anti- Semitic...nor anti American... nor anti anything like that but please...please Mr. Lewin...why the heck should I Iisten to long monologues on your father and the holocaust? There are books on that subject, I have read several, and their authors did not digress into physics. They left you to do that...rather well. In other words, hijacking my interest to provide a soapbox for your inner, irrelevant thoughts is offensive to me.
don't know yet
His reading was too monotone - not enough inflection and cadence change to highlight the important items.
Disappointment and frustration at not being able to wade through the endless details to get to the heart of the story he was trying to tell.
This book is a missed opportunity for explaining the relevance of physics to everyday life. I believe Lewin has much to offer, and truly understands the subject matter in a way that allows him to make it relevant. But the book is boring, I'm sorry to say.
I wish I had this professor in High school and College. I have always loved physics but didn't quite get it enough that I could peruse it. This Professor explains things in a humorous that brings it to reality for you. It shows you how physics works in the world around you and gives you a basis to grow from, which is what is required to grasp the more intricate and mathematical parts of physics.
Its an awesome book for those who just want to know what the point to physics is. It is an awesome book for those who what an launching point into greater physics. the professor / writer is witty, entertaining and informative. the Narrator communicates all of that in his tone as he reads through this book and keeps you actively listening.
I am a happy, contented person. Love reading sci fi fantasy novels and well written business books.
"Einstein and the Quantum" and "Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum"
Write strictly on physics
Wrong choice, move on . . .
Author is a good lecturer/ teacher. He bring fun into the classroom - better to be one of his students, maybe not his reader.
First part teaching basic physics and than ... wow ... jump into x-ray astronomy. I do not understand the concept of this book.
Aboslutely not. I do not believe it has many fans.
I loved how Walter Lewin told his story and taught physics side by side. It was very engaging.
Walter Lewin himself!
His story during WW2
Amazing book, everyone should have the opportunity to read/listen to it.
not particularly because it turned into a rant on global warming.
The discussion on Physics was outstanding. He should have stayed focused on it rather than delve into environmentalism. his discussion on the makeup of stars, and effects of tars and light could have been condensed.
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