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

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Overview

"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 ...
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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

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Overview

"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 thirty 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 three hundred thousand 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.

Recounting his own exciting discoveries as a pioneer in the field of X-ray astronomy—arriving at MIT right at the start of an astonishing revolution in astronomy—he also brings to life the power of physics to reach into the vastness of space and unveil exotic uncharted territories, from the marvels of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud to the unseeable depths of black holes.

"For me," Lewin writes, "physics is a way of seeing—the spectacular and the mundane, the immense and the minute—as a beautiful, thrillingly interwoven whole." His wonderfully inventive and vivid ways of introducing us to the revelations of physics impart to us a new appreciation of the remarkable beauty and intricate harmonies of the forces that govern our lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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 [listeners]." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Booklist
“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.”
Bill Gates
“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.“
Mario Livio
“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.”
James Kakalios
"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.”
Booklist (starred review)
“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.”
Library Journal
A great teacher can infect students with love for his subject. Professor emeritus Lewin shares his passion for physics in this enjoyable introduction for lay readers. (LJ 9/1/11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452603742
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Warren Goldstein is the history department chair at the University of Hartford and the author of books including Playing for Keeps and William Sloane Coffin: A Holy Impatience.

Walter Lewin, Professor Emeritus of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the NASA Award for Exceptional Sceintific Achievement, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other awards.

Kent Cassella is an actor who divides his time between Vermont and New York. Television and film credits include all of the Law and Order franchise shows, FX's Rescue Me, Showtime's Brotherhood, and the Ben Affleck film The Town.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Enjoyed the book. HATE it on the NOOK.

    I apologize for my rant but not its content.
    You will quickly begin to hate the words “You can see the photo in the insert”.
    At one point every other page had that statement, “You can see the photo in the insert”.
    Problem is the Nook version has no insert. It’s a different experience then the printed version.
    Simon and Schuster should know better. For me its proof that the publishers have yet to fully embrace e-publishing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    MATH CLASS

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    good read

    I enjoyed Lewin's take on the world of physics. My limited knowledge of physics is mostly from tv programs and books like this one. It was easy to understand and he made it a fun read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Terrific intro to an inspiring field

    Waler Lewin is the physics prof you wish you'd had. Starting not with science but with wonder, he inspires his reader to ask questions and look for beauty in Nature's laws. Highly recommended for those normally bored by science.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2012

    Highly Recommended by My Son

    I bought this book for my son, who is a freshman in college majoring in aerospace engineering. He has enjoyed reading it and has shared parts of it with his younger brothers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 1, 2011

    He Loves Physics, all right

    Walter Lewin does not start out with the science; rather, with a personal history that is far from the science itself. If not interested, pass on to later chapters and get answers to questions most everyone has wondered about at one time or another. Read slowly, though. Prof. Lewin assumes the reader knows at least something.

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    Posted June 18, 2011

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    Posted August 14, 2011

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    Posted October 2, 2011

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    Posted August 15, 2011

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    Posted August 1, 2011

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    Posted May 14, 2011

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    Posted August 1, 2011

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    Posted October 25, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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