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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 Paperback – February 7, 2012
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"Fascinating...A delightful scientific memoir combined with a memorable introduction to physics."--"Kirkus"
"As the hundreds of thousands of studentswho have witnessed [Lewin's] lectures in person or online can attest, thisclassroom wizard transforms textbook formulas into magic...Lewin's rarecreativity shines through...a passport to adventure." --"Booklist" (starredreview)
""For the Love of Physics" captures Walter Lewin's extraordinary intellect, passion for physics and brilliance as a teacher. Hopefully, this book will bring even more people into the orbit of this extraordinary educator and scientist."
"Fascinating... A delightful scientific memoir combined with a memorable introduction to physics."
"MIT's Lewin is deservedly popular for his memorable physics lectures (both live and on MIT's Open Course Web site and YouTube), and this quick-paced autobiography-cum-physics intro fully captures his candor and lively teaching style... joyful... [this text] glows with energy and should please a wide range of readers."
"As the hundreds of thousands of students who have witnessed [Lewin's] lectures in person or online can attest, this classroom wizard transforms textbook formulas into magic... Lewin's rare creativity shines through... a passport to adventure."
"Walter Lewin's unabashed passion for physics shines through every page of this colorful, largely autobiographical tour of science. The excitement of discovery is infectious."--Mario Livio, author of The Golden Ratio and Is God A Mathematician?
"In this fun, engaging and accessible book, Walter Lewin, a superhero of the classroom, uses his powers for Good - ours! The authors' share the joy of learning that the world is a knowable place."--James Kakalios, Professor and author of The Physics of Superheroes and The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics
About the Author
Walter Lewin taught the three core classes in physics at MIT for more than thirty years and made major discoveries in the area of X-ray astronomy. His physics lectures have been the subject of great acclaim, including a 60 Minutes feature, stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsweek and US News and World Report. They have also been top draws on YouTube and iTunes University. He was awarded three prizes for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He has published more than 450 scientific articles, and his honors and awards include the NASA Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the Alexander von Humboldt Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He became a corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1993. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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As I read the publisher's text about the book, I felt a little blush. Could that refer to me?! Truly, Walter Lewin's online lectures changed MY life. Sounds silly? Well it's true. Not only did I get very interested in a subject I thought out of my grasp, but I continued my education in physics. I "discovered" a lot of application of physics to my business practice. To shorten the story, I use physics in my business and my clients have benefited greatly and my career has blasted off.
Now, the book is like listening to Dr. Lewin talk. For a fan, what could be better? The videos of his lectures might be better but they are very math intense. The book is light on the math. That's good.
I do wish the book had more than than the too brief picture collection about 2/3'ds through. I would like some illustrations to go with the topical discussions. Still, overall, I love the book but that's because I see Dr. Lewin as a sort of virtual mentor. I could never afford MIT or qualify to get in to MIT. Dr. Lein's lectures opened MIT to me.
So a physics fan, and especially a Walter Lewin fan, will love the book. I hope every one of his students will buy two copies (I did)---cherish one and give the other away. Your gift may inspire the next Einstein (male or female).
The only negative? That beautiful Dutch accent, which lends itself to physics, doesn't come through in print.
"For the Love of Physics" is not a book about everything you ever wanted to know nor a comprehensive review of our fundamental theories of the universe. It is an exhibition of raw curiosity that every one of us probably has felt at one or another point in our lives. It is that original spark which is at the core of a good scientist. The boldness to ask questions without the fear of not understanding the answer. Even better, the answers are beautifully simple once the relations are laid out (in principle). Here is the scientist who can't help himself but go out and let other people rediscover the world around them.
"For the Love of Physics" is in part biography and in fact starts with a chapter on the author's childhood, although these parts never serve their own purpose. There may be short chalk board type excursions (no equations, though) but in the end everything always leads back to the basic motivation. Research happens in all our lives and whatever we do in research needs to be understandable (or maybe adorable) by everyone. That being said, this book is for everyone. If you ever felt that certain curiosity about nature and the universe, here is your guide to find it again. If not... find it for the first time.
A very entertaining and also interesting book, I hope he writes another!