"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)
I never thought I would use the word “love” and “physics” in the same paragraph! Yet Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein introduced me to the science that I had previously thought unapproachable. Clearly Professor Lewin is an outstanding teacher. If our schools were filled with teachers like Mr. Lewin, it would surely change the world.
The story is about Physics and all that it encompasses, which is everything really. And that part had me fascinated. It is also about teaching Physics and this part was just wonderful. I found myself in my garage with a tennis ball and string, attempting to duplicate the pendulum demonstration (Yes, Physics works), and in my front garden, spraying my garden hose toward the Sun to create a rainbow (Yes, red is always on the outside). Not many books motivate me to such action.
Kent Cassella does an admirable job in communicating difficult names and locations whilst still being able to convey the humour and irony in particular stories.
Overall it was a compelling read. A book of Science. Of Teaching. And a remarkable personal story of a European immigrant to America who has certainly helped us better understand the world.
Applying what I learned in this book, I would measure the uncertainty of this review to be within ± .5 stars.
I loved this listen. Professor Lewin made physics the living fascinating thing it is. The vivid examples and explanations gave me a new appreciation for rainbows and cans of paint.
If you loved Physics in school I recommend this book as an interesting listen. If you hated Physics. I highly recommend this book as an eye opening explanation of so much of the world that surrounds us.
For the Love of Physics was a great read. If you have watched any of Walter Lewin's lectures online, you know that he is a great teacher. In this book, he gives a good overview of physics. Towards the end of book, he goes into x-ray astronomy and talks about his research. Overall, this is a great book, I highly recommend it.
This is book has interesting stories and I love physics, but .... the reader is rushing through the material, not even pausing between chapters. It's all strung together in one long torrent of words. Pretty tough to follow. And even tougher to understand the physics. Sometimes you need time to absorb some of the more difficult facts, but the reader never lets up. Too bad.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Walter Levin is clearly an excellent teacher who loves physics. Every science teacher in America should read this book and think about what Levin does to be so effective. I love physics and respect and value great science teachers like Levin but I found this book a little boring. The stories and recollections are nice and demonstrate what Levin does that is so extraordinary but this book is not as compelling as those of Feynman or Green. I really hate giving this book less than 5 stars.
I admit that I know almost nothing about physics, and I downloaded this book on a crazy whim, but then I loved it! The narrator interpreted the authors' words in a friendly and conversational way. And the authors gave me a brand new view of the world, just as promised.
The discussion of black holes (which apparently everyone loves) was completely enlightening.
Walter Lewin, the professor
I was astonished that I liked it so much.
As a language major, I usually stay away from anything science-related, but I am really glad that I took a chance on this book.
All of my great teachers were able to show me the importance of the seemingly insignificant in some dramatic style. Walter Lewin is a master of dramatic presentation. After listening to "for the love of physics", twice, I found myself watching hours and hours of his lectures and demonstrations on the web.
the thoughts and writing are engaging and lively and I will never look at rainbows the same way. Because of this book I now know how to look for rainbows as well.
Thank you Professor Lewin.
Mr. Cassella's narration is very good, warm and well paced.
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!
"Too many numbers"
It's one of thse rare occasions were an audio book lets you down, owing to the scientific nature of this book there are many refrences to numbers. When reading a text one just " takes in" a number but when they are constantly read to you it becomes a little tiresome. Overall quite good but not a Feynmen.
"Great - Does exactly what it says on the tin."
I even managed to get my wife and kids to listen to this - very entertaining and enjoyable
"Walter Lewin (8.01)"
I would recommend thisaudiobook title to anybody interested in physics and has a passion towards learning.
This is my first download so I cannot comment yet.
He handled the whole audiobook very well and managed to show appreciation to what he was reading.
Not to sure how to answer that at the moment. :)
Enjoyed this audiobook. I hope to be informed in the future if there will be any more physics audiobooks, especially if it has to do with Walter Lewin.
"Physics all the way"
To be honest I'm not really good with Physics but I was always interested in learning something new or gaining an understanding of how things work.
If you listen to this audio book, it will do exactly do that. It explains "things" in a way even I can understand them. It;s funny and entertaining and I do love the experiments that you can try at home !
Who should listen to this book ?
Well just about everybody - for instance I asked my other half, who studied astro physics to listen to some of it, and he enjoyed it just as much as me.
You can have your children listen to it, since there is so much to discover and maybe even have a parent child competition to try out one of the experiments.
Should you still want more then you could even watch some of it on YouTube where I found
some of the experiments demonstrated.
Go listen and learn - that's my advice !
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