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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2011
Walter Lewin (this is truly what I believe) is the greatest professor of Physics in MIT and the world. You will not meet a nicer man than him (I've met him). He is by far the wisest man I've met, and by far teaches Physics in the most spectacular of ways. I've witnessed some of his lectures at the age of 13 - even though it was packed with calculus and derivatives, I could understand it so clearly. Walter is extraordinary, and anything written by him must simply be just that. I cannot stress enough how special this professor is, he just conveys something in his lectures, to his students, a burning passion to learn and to understand Physics. He's the type of person that looks at an equation and believes it is truly beautiful.

If you can only buy one more book for the rest of your life about Physics - let it be this one. Sure, some of the stuff you may already know. But I guarantee when it comes from Walter Lewin you will be in awe, and in shock, amazed by him. In 2011 (while I am writing) he gave his last lecture. I cried the entire night after wards, and the days after. Yes - he is that good and to know he will never be able to teach again is a true tragedy. Please, buy this book, you will not regret it!

And remember: "Physics works!" - Walter Lewin
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2011
Chances are if you have found this book you will know very well of Walter Lewin, and assuming you have watched even one of his lectures you will not need to read this or any other review on this book, as you will know how incredibly fascinating Walter makes science. This book is a great reflection of the enthusiasm and wonder that Walter puts into each of his lectures.

A very well-written book which will change your outlook on the world after every chapter.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2012
Professor Lewin is a gifted teacher. This book compliments the video lectures at MIT ( Physics 8.01 ).
Learning is such a pleasant experience with this man. No wonder he is so popular ( I believe a million hits on Youtube ).
He explains about his upbringing in Nazi occupied Holland and his pioneering work in X-ray astronomy.
I thoroughly recommend this book and to view the lectures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2014
Great book having seen the video on Itube it was great.
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on 14 August 2015
A delightful trip through physics and very understandable too! Professor Lewin writes with the same enthusiasm that he displays in his on-line lectures.
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on 20 July 2015
Great read for all who love science and for those who might have if they'd only had a good teacher.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2012
While I'm sure Dr Lewin excells in his lectures (I have not seen any yet), this book probably does them no justice, I hope... I had high hopes when I bought this book from its back cover reviews and paralleling it with Feynman books, but after the first few pages it became clear it was NO Feynman crafted book, any one with even a basic O level in physics would fall asleep reading it in many places - not all. And, as as Lewin points out, 'there are no faint hearts at MIT' he certainly makes that point justice when he tells you repeatedly about his PhD, Dutch educational system, and about Werner von Braun being a war crimminal without whom of couse, much, if not all, of his raving about deep field astronomy would never have happned at least with a Hubble telescope bearing the American flag. A book that would have been better by the absence of chapter 1. A life changer it is definitely not. If you love physics stick with Feynman and Asimov albeit they are quite dated books by now. However to be fair as an introduction of the marvells of physics, to the non-physicist, it can appeal due to its contemporay topics.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2015
Walter Lewin was a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) until his retirement in 2009 and was well known for his popular lectures on physics which appeared on the MIT OpenCourseWare website - that is until MIT indefinitely suspended access to Lewin's courses on OpenCourseWare in late 2014 "after its investigation of a serious matter" (to quote the message that now appears on the OpenCourseWare website when you click on some of the links in Lewin's book). As I don't know the outcome the investigations I will restrict myself here to this specific comment from the website but those intrigued as to what this serious matter was are free to search online.

The book is a strange one, both in terms of its contents and its style of writing. The first nine chapters address a few selected areas of physics, such as bodies in motion, electricity, magnetism, rainbows, conservation of energy, but leave many other areas untouched; the final six chapters focus on the author's main area of research, namely x-ray astronomy. Undoubtedly, the book is unbalanced in terms of what it covers and doesn't cover. However, this is not so much a book that attempts to explain physics, but rather a book that explains how Lewin taught physics. Thus the book provides a platform, especially in the earlier chapters, for Lewin to describe some of the bizarre demonstrations he would perform in front of students, one in particular which appeared quite dangerous although his faith in the reproducibility of physics ensured his safety.

The style of writing was not to my liking. I'm not sure who he was expecting to read the book but to my mind he comes across as somewhat patronising, assuming perhaps that his readers know nothing of physics. In reality, I suspect most readers are quite clued up on the subject, and are the reading the book largely to see how Lewin approached the subject. Nevertheless, his passion and energy for both physics and education come across in abundance and it is easy to see why he had such a good reputation as a teacher.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2013
Excellent book and a fascinating way of showing clarity to those of us who have missed physics teaching in earlier years.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2013
this is a fantastic book proving a great insite into the work of a physisist aswell as inspring a new generation. What could be said to be aimed at lay people is also fantasticaly engaging for those with a higher understanding of physics. Wonderful, inspirational and simple explantations for modern scientific reaserch was provided.
I beleive it would be engaging for all age groups 14+ the age rating just because of the lower interest in physics from younger people and the basic understanding of physics required to be inspired by it coming in small amounts from what is typicaly learned at that age such as "clasical mechanics" or "astrophysics" etc.
little to no mathematics so purly consepts discussed making it very easy to follow.
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