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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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,491 ratings  ·  249 reviews
“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 ...more
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Free Press
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4.22  · 
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 ·  2,491 ratings  ·  249 reviews

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This man proves that teachers make a difference. That a good teacher can make anyone care about his topic.

I loved math in school, but when I got to calculus, for some reason, I just couldn't understand it. And so I decided to skip physics altogether. However, I really wanted to read the book Einstein: His Life and Universe, because I think its author, Walter Isaacson, is a genius. It seemed like the perfect marriage of author and subject! But I have never liked science, as it was taught in scho
Sabbir Ahmed
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
পনের কেজি ভরের একটি লোহার গোলক ছুটে আসছে বিপজজনক গতিতে মুখ বরাবর। চোখ মুখ ভয়ে খিঁচ আছে। যদি এটি ঠিক আঘাত হানতে পারে তবে সকাল ফরাকচার হয়ে নিরঘাৎ মৃতযু। রকতে বেড়ে গেছে অযাডরেনালিন হরমোন যেটাকে বলে হয় rush hormone. মসতিষক পরতিটি মুহুরতে ইংগিত দিচছে সরে যাওয়ার জনয। কিনতু এরই সাথে কাজ করে যাচছে মসতিষকের pre-frontal cortex যেটা কিনা মানুষকে আলাদা করে অনযানয সতনযপায়ী পরাণী হতে। মানব মসতিষকের যুকতিবিদযা যেখান থেকে উৎসারিত হয়। সেটি বলছে, উঁহু তুমি মরবে না। পদারথবিদযায় শকতির সংরকষণশীলতা নীতি বলে একটি কথা ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
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 do ...more
يوسف بوحايك
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the great WALTER LEWIN, my best teacher ever of physics, he makes you love physics and see the world in another way forever, in a way full of wonders and appreciations.
For more pleasure it's better to see also the video:
from his book:
"I learned that art is not only, or even mostly, about beauty; it is about discovery, and this is where art and physics come together for me."
"When I began lecturing at MIT in the 1970s, it was part of my personality t
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I would love to have taken one of Walter Lewin's classes. His teaching style is fun and energetic, and he seems to love to get his students involved in his experiments. The first part of the book is a series of 20 to 30 minute segments on various topics about the physics of everyday things. The topics range from how airplanes fly to the maximum depth a snorkler can handle and why to how we measure the distances of stars.

The second half of the books discusses his own career in research using x-r
Anne Swartjes
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I saw the Dutch ratings on this book (hardly 1 star) I was utterly shocked. I had heard so many great stories about Walter Lewin, appearing in a very well-known Dutch TV-show and captivating thousands of ears of interest. I, unfortunately, haven't yet had the opportunity to experience one of his lectures, but I certainly will do some research soon. I heard that this man did a magnificent job on making serious physics understandable for less-but-still-genius-human-beings like you and me (I g ...more
أميرة هاني
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: popscience
I might be too excited about this book; read with a grain of salt. If there’s an Oscar for hilariously explaining the world through physics to the layperson, ًWalter Lewin should get two. Not that I grasped everything, several things went over my head no doubt, but I enjoyed reading about them because he doesn’t take himself too seriously (I hate people who do). Added bonus: there’s the littlest amount of math here, which is great because I’m allergic. It’s called dyscalculia. That basically mea ...more
Hari Kumar
This book was brought accidentally to me by my brother. For the Love of Physics is one of my most favorite and loving science books of all time. It tells about the lives of both the Physics & Proff.Lewin. Dr.Lewin has taught the
world to look through the equations which many teachers and professors failed to do (If they at least knew it could be done, like my Physics teachers), and Proff.Lewin had made them a bunch of criminals (for teaching bad). It has a great and astonishing explanation fr
Bob Nichols
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting tidbits from this book:

Lewin believes that Newton is the greatest physicist of all time (Einstein is next) because “his discoveries were so fundamental and so diverse.”

Though the universe’s age is estimated to be “about” 13.7 billion years old, Lewin writes that “the edge of the observable universe is about 47 billion light-years away from us in every direction.” This is because space has “expanded enormously since the big bang,” noting Hubble’s law (“the velocity at which galaxies m
Natalia Davidenko
книга дуже круто написана! тепер я постійно вишукую веселку і знаю купу різних кумедних штку. Прямо захотілося і відео подивитися більше, і про автора почитати.

почитала. ну, і нащо я то зробила?
Malek Dabbous
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was on Bill Gates' top book in 2011. Prof. Lewin's method of teaching should be adopted by all professors. He teaches physics by holding experiments in class, and backs them up with formulas. He teaches not to cover the details in physics, but to uncover the beauty of the world thru physics. Check out his experiments on YouTube, they are actually cool. The last quarter of the book went into too much technical details on his area of expertise: X-Ray - that was really torturous to get th ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author was deeply involved in X-ray astronomy research in the 1970s, and his narrative of his experiences is really fascinating. A few of the earlier chapters are a bit basic in terms of the physics concepts he covers (conservation of energy, Faraday’s law, etc.), but in the later chapters, he tells the story of how the field of X-ray astronomy grew, and in personal involvement. He talks a lot about Cyg X-1 and even mentions Tom Bolton and his discovery of the black hole at the Dunlop Observ ...more
R Ramachandran
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is not intended to teach physics to those who have studied physics and to those who pursue that subject professionally.
To those who have forgotten their physics lessons, this will be a great recaller. It brings back all the pleasures that got lost in all the years after the college days.
To those who still view the world and the life there in, in a way learned to look in their old physics classes, though not living by physics, this book will help clear any fog they collected on the way
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: factual-faction
For all y'all McGill kids: Rated 2/5 Ken Ragans. A fun read, but no more than a rehashing of Phys 131 and 142 with more rainbows and without any calculus (honestly, it reads like the lecture transcripts). Too soon, still traumatized by the final exam, and therefore didn't enjoy it. I could see Amanda circa 2016 adoring this book though.
Pongsak Sarapukdee
Not only about physics thing, it is about his life also
Vicente Alvarado
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro cuanto menos increíble, enseña la fisica de una forma tan familiar y simple que uno queda con ganas de leer más.
Además de ser muy interesante nos da una pincelada por todos los campos de la física clásica y moderna.
Manuel Estrella Gonzalez
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Magistral. La física no es aburrida, todo lo contrario. Un poco lento, pero no se puede pedir mas de un libro de divulgación. Recomendado al 100% para quienes empiezan en este mundillo.
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it

Walter Lewin is a professor of physics at MIT, where he teaches several of the introductory physics courses. These courses, which are available on the web at, are apparently very popular. I can't vouch for them, as I haven't looked at any of them yet. I can say that the book is a nice blend of popular science and memoir. The book was written with a co-author, Warren Goldstein, who is a professor of history at the University of Hartford.

The book begins by explaini

Gautam Krishna
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lovely perspective of looking at the daily world. Walter Lewin simply spoke my mind. My ideology of teaching: Teach not what to think, but how to think.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Walter Lewin is al meer dan veertig jaar docent aan het prestigieuze Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Hij is bij het brede publiek met name bekend geworden door zijn unieke college’s, die op Youtube vele kijkers trekken. Binnen Nederland is hij met name bekend door zijn optredens in De Wereld Draait Door.

In zijn boek “Gek Op Natuurkunde” wil hij zijn lezer een weg wijzen naar de opmerkelijke rol die de natuurkunde in ons alledaagse leven speelt. Dit combineert hij met persoonlijke ve
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Dr. Lewin deciphers many confusing aspects of natural phenomenon which surround us. The mysteries of rainbows and sound, electricity and magnetism, etc., are brought within our grasp of understanding after listening to Lewin's discussions. He uses layman's terms, for the most part, and gives simple yet practical examples to make his point. He seems genuinely interested in opening a new sense of understanding of the many seemingly complex things which surround us. However, I suspect ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to understand before reading this, that Lewin has a genuine love of both physics and education. His love is shown plainly in the pages, and while he leaves much to doubt, it's clear the reader should explore to learn more. There is an abundant amount of resources out there for the pop-physicist to read, but most books gloss over the smaller things that are deemed "uninteresting" and go for really big physics stuff.

Lewin's book, on the other hand does something incredible. Lewin takes t
Kevin Hanks
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book written by what sounds to be a great teacher. He tries to condense the material from several of his MIT introductory physics classes into book format. I've learned that his class lectures have become quite popular on Youtube and that this book is an attempt to expand on that popularity and reach an even wider audience. I say bravo! I loved his simple explanations and obvious love of the topics. Because of the format, he was forced to describe several of his more famous physics demonst ...more
Tnahsin Garg
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Being a fan of Dr. Lewin, I picked up this one to clear my head of all the literary stuff that I've been reading. And turned out, it was quite a delightful read.

While it wouldn't be fair to criticize the book on terms of prose, so if you're picking this book up, you better be interested in science! While most of the concepts revolved around basic physics, and could be boring to a science major, but the real beauty is the way Walter explains them in the most basic sense.

I particularly liked his
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, physics
Lewin's personal narrative is likely to grab most readers right away. His life, from a childhood spent hiding from Nazis to a grown man who became a world renowned physicist, is inspiring to say the least. Lewin's love of physics oozes out of him on every page, in every lecture, and seemingly in his every day life. It is easy to see why his lectures are so popular.

In this book, Lewin brought key ideas from his lecture series to the reader. After relating basic concepts of physics, Lewin detaile
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for the sheer joy the author takes in teaching his readers. As popular physics treatments go, there's not much here an interested reader isn't likely to have encountered elsewhere -- other than the author's account of his own very interesting scientific autobiography. But there's great pleasure to be had in seeing the whole history and enterprise of physics through the eyes of this boyishly enthusiastic guide. It's no wonder Lewin's classes are as widely admired as they are. I plan to wa ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Reading this book is almost like being at one of Prof. Lewin's lectures! (For those who haven't had the opportunity, he provides links to some of them on MIT's OpenCourseWare site.) The only difference between this and the actual lectures is that he requires less math background on the reader's part than is expected from MIT freshmen- there's very little in the way of math or equations. If you're even a little interested in physics, check it out!
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
ONe of the best science books I've read in a while. The author transmits his love of science and the wonders that we can discover through physics. He has lectures online and I need to watch them. It takes me back to my undergraduate days, when everything was new and exciting. The book just oozes with the joy of discovery that is the mark of a true scientist.
Pooja Goyal
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
In Walter Lewin, I have discovered a physics teacher that I did not have the fortune of experiencing live. I loved every bit of the book. Physics is the story of the forces that created our world, that sustain it and will one day destroy it and Walter Lewin breathes life into this story. Every chapter is a gem and this book is a masterpiece.
Mahesan Vasudevan
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Walter Lewin predicted that it would change the way I look at the world after I finish the book. Well, he is indeed true. I liked the book so much that even after I lost my first book on train (Did this statement contradict what I just said?) I ordered another copy and finished it.
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Walter H. G. Lewin, Ph.D. is a Dutch astrophysicist and professor emeritus of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born in the Hague Netherlands, professor Lewin achieved his PhD in nuclear physics in 1965 at the Delft University of Technology and came to MIT in 1966.
Lewin's major contributions in astrophysics include the discovery of the first slowly rotating neutron star through
“What counts, I found, is not what you cover, but what you uncover. Covering subjects in a class can be a boring exercise, and students feel it. Uncovering the laws of physics and making them see through the equations, on the other hand, demonstrates the process of discovery, with all its newness and excitement, and students love being part of it.” 10 likes
“why on earth should you generate current in that coil? It wasn’t clear at first what the importance of this discovery was. Soon afterward, the story goes, a dubious politician asked Faraday if his discovery had any practical value, and Faraday is supposed to have responded,” 3 likes
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