Looking for a great summer science read? Thinking about taking Walter Lewin’s new MOOC from MITx, 8.01x Classical Mechanics? Pick up a copy of Professor Lewin’s book For the Love of Physics (2011, Free Press), which is now out in paperback. A great way to prep offline for the online experience of learning with Professor Lewin.
Here’s bit of the LA Times book review from 2011:
Book review: ‘For the Love of Physics’
MIT’s Walter Lewin takes the average person on a fascinating trip through physics and his adventures in the classroom.
July 03, 2011
By Sara Lippincott
For more than 30 years, the pioneering X-ray astrophysicist Walter Lewin taught core curriculum physics courses to undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For this alone, he probably ought to be put on the fast track for canonization. To most career physicists in exalted places like MIT and Caltech, undergraduates are things you bump into in the hall.
Now blessedly emeritus, Lewin has apparently not lost one iota of his enthusiasm for his life’s work. In “For the Love of Physics” (written with University of Hartford historian Warren Goldstein), he recaps his adventures in the classroom for the benefit of all you graduates of liberal arts colleges who didn’t have to take Physics 1 and in later life may feel that something huge and important is missing.
“I’ve always tried to make physics come alive for my students,” Lewin writes. “I believe it’s much more important for them to remember the beauty of the discoveries than to focus on the complicated math — after all, most of them aren’t going to become physicists.” One chapter is titled “The Magic of Drinking With a Straw.” Read more.