"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)
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
The book cover of “For the Love of Physics” summarizes its endearing intent. Walter Lewin bridges the chasm between the lay public and Physics by simplifying and vivifying fundamental laws of a confusing science. With erudition and demonstration Lewin reflects joy in physics. Lewin is a teacher and astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lewin considers Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein to be the greatest scientists in history because of their prescient ability to produce theories that unify laws of nature. Though quantum mechanics was never accepted by Einstein and not discovered until Newton and James Clerk Maxwell were gone, these three scientists viewed the world with blunt measurement tools and, through force of imagination, succeeded in creating theories that have been confirmed by future physicists within the probability environment of quantum mechanics.
Science continues to advance with refinement of particle physics cyclotrons like the Large Hadron Collider that are exploding protons into constituent elements, and refined tools that measure smaller and smaller elemental particles that define bigger and bigger natural laws.
Lewin and Goldstein’s book excites the imagination and encourages the future of science.
He could leave out all the science formulas and equations and just explain what happens. The equations bog the story down.
A fabulous and instructive listen. Yes the narration was a little fast and the subject matter a little meandering, but the over all narrative of such rich and complex subject matter necessitated an approach that didn't bog down and remained interesting and illuminating. Not a book to listen to when doing other things. I was ill when listening to it and so was able to give it my full attention for long periods which helped me appreciate the brilliance of what was being conveyed. There are certainly many parts I will revisit as one listen is probably insufficient for an English and History major!
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.
Life is wonderful ! Lots of great books to listen yeah !
"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.
Not really. There are better books out there that don't meander about random topics in physics and autobiographical details.
Write about physics, or write about your life, but don't randomly cover both. I don't really care about why you had to pay two guilders for coffee in 1960 or whatever.
The leprechaun at the end of the rainbow... It doesn't exist!
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 have listened to Brian Green on String Theory and Multiverses and I sat through Gary Taubes on carbohydrate metabolism, so it is not that I don't like non-fiction. But, although the narrator does his best, this is the most screamingly boring book that I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. The author seems to be a nice guy, his personal anecdotes are entertaining enough, but he is either over-simplifying to an egregious extent or spouting equations. There seems to be nothing between these two extremes. This is the first time I have ever exclaimed out loud "I can't take it anymore!" as I switched chapters. I finally gave up halfway through. I couldn't finish it, even for the love of physics!
Not unless I was tied to a chair and the earphones placed over my unwilling ears.
Regret that I am blaming him for something that is not his fault.
Violent spasms of ennui.
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.
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