For the Love of Physics | Walter Lewin

Like a lot of people, I was introduced to Walter Lewin through his compelling physics lectures from MIT, which are freely available online. During my last trip to Chapters, I noticed he had written a book as well. His lectures were so fascinating, I picked the book up immediately.

The book is a combination of memoir and physics (without the mathematical tedium). To be more specific, the introduction to physics is sandwiched between autobiographical information at the start and end of the book. Both parts of the book are interesting, but they don’t seem to gel that well together as one work.

Lewin’s trademark humor and passion for teaching shines through clearly here. He often describes his classroom antics—along with the student’s reaction—in a way that makes you feel like you’re in the front row. Add to this a dash of Vonnegutesque interjections and you have one memorable physics primer.

This book would have been even better had I not already listened to the lectures. I felt an odd sense of déjà vu a number of times when the book and lectures overlapped. Still, with my porous memory, I’m sure the repetition helped things to stick.

For the Love of Physics is what you get when a talented teacher has loads of enthusiasm for the subject.

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