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For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics | [Walter Lewin, Warren Goldstein]

For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics

As Carl Sagan did for astronomy and Brian Green did for cosmology, Walter 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."
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Publisher's Summary

"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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (399 )
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4.0 (337 )
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Performance
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  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 09-15-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 09-15-14 Member Since 2007

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "JOY IN PHYSICS"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 06-03-14
    Scott 06-03-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting-but too many science formulas"
    Any additional comments?

    He could leave out all the science formulas and equations and just explain what happens. The equations bog the story down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael CANBERRA CITY, Australia 03-31-14
    Michael CANBERRA CITY, Australia 03-31-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A Wonderful Listen"
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemarie 03-03-14
    Rosemarie 03-03-14
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    "Too much detail that obscures the true stories"
    Would you try another book from Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein and/or Kent Cassella?

    probably not.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    don't know yet


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His reading was too monotone - not enough inflection and cadence change to highlight the important items.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 02-25-14
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 02-25-14
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    "Understanding of what confused you in class"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    doris choo 01-06-14
    doris choo 01-06-14 Member Since 2013

    Life is wonderful ! Lots of great books to listen yeah !

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    "Better to be one of his student . . ."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Not sure


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    "Einstein and the Quantum" and "Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum"


    How could the performance have been better?

    Write strictly on physics


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Wrong choice, move on . . .


    Any additional comments?

    Author is a good lecturer/ teacher. He bring fun into the classroom - better to be one of his students, maybe not his reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Kansas City, Missouri, United States 12-18-13
    William Kansas City, Missouri, United States 12-18-13
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    "More like an autobiography with some physics"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really. There are better books out there that don't meander about random topics in physics and autobiographical details.


    What could Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Kent Cassella – was your favorite?

    The leprechaun at the end of the rainbow... It doesn't exist!


    Was For the Love of Physics worth the listening time?

    No.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrzej 05-26-13
    Andrzej 05-26-13
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    "2 books in one book - strange concept"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    First part teaching basic physics and than ... wow ... jump into x-ray astronomy. I do not understand the concept of this book.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein ? Why or why not?

    ?


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kent Cassella?

    Yes


    Do you think For the Love of Physics needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Aboslutely not. I do not believe it has many fans.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Lagendyk Ottawa, Ontario 05-02-14
    Joanne Lagendyk Ottawa, Ontario 05-02-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Mind-numbing boredom"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein again?

    Not unless I was tied to a chair and the earphones placed over my unwilling ears.


    What does Kent Cassella bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Regret that I am blaming him for something that is not his fault.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Violent spasms of ennui.


    Any additional comments?

    Never again!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Zein Ali Glasgow, United Kingdom 07-02-13
    Mr. Zein Ali Glasgow, United Kingdom 07-02-13

    Zein

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    "Remarkable Book!"
    What did you love best about For the Love of Physics?

    I loved how Walter Lewin told his story and taught physics side by side. It was very engaging.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Walter Lewin himself!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every part


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His story during WW2


    Any additional comments?

    Amazing book, everyone should have the opportunity to read/listen to it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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