For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time%E2%80%94a Journey Through the Wonders of Physics

Walter Lewin, Author, Warren Goldstein, With
Walter Lewin with Warren Goldstein. Free Press, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4391-0827-7
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4391-2354-6
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Paperback - 414 pages - 978-89-349-5784-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3374-9
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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. Born in 1936, the son of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, Lewin survived WWII in the Netherlands, fell madly in love with physics and astronomy, and discovered his passion for teaching while working his way through graduate school. Like his lectures, the book stresses his hands-on approach, reinforcing that "physics is fundamentally an experimental science," with every discovery rooted in "measurements and their uncertainties." Salad spinners enhance a discussion of Newton's laws. Playing with straws vividly demonstrates air pressure, and a review of cutting edge x-ray astronomy (in which he has made important discoveries) covers neutron stars, black holes, and mysterious "x-ray bursters." 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. (May)
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