Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Physics Can Be Cool...

...don't believe me? Check out this article from the NY Times for more. But first, here's a telling excerpt:

Professor Lewin delivers his lectures with the panache of Julia Child bringing French cooking to amateurs and the zany theatricality of YouTube’s greatest hits. He is part of a new generation of academic stars who hold forth in cyberspace on their college Web sites and even, without charge, on iTunes U, which went up in May on Apple’s iTunes Store.

In his lectures at, Professor Lewin beats a student with cat fur to demonstrate electrostatics. Wearing shorts, sandals with socks and a pith helmet — nerd safari garb — he fires a cannon loaded with a golf ball at a stuffed monkey wearing a bulletproof vest to demonstrate the trajectories of objects in free fall.

He rides a fire-extinguisher-propelled tricycle across his classroom to show how a rocket lifts off.


Orion said...

Upon looking back at this post, I am surprised that I made no comment before, considering this post documents an idea that I have spent thousands of hours of my life following. Yes, a rough calculation indeed yields a number in the thousands, as I recently graduated with a physics degree. A degree which I pursued in addition to one in mechanical engineering simply for my love of what the article refers to as the beauty of physics.

I understand that a formal degree is pretty overkill, but I encourage you to at least watch a few of Dr. Lewin's lectures. The 25 hours of hard work Dr. Lewin put behind each segment really shows (not to mention the countless hours that his assistants must have committed), and this is perhaps the most efficient way to get that deep understanding of the physical workings behind every day life.

For those of you who are still in school and might be dreading that physics class, the understanding that Dr. Lewin has distilled and concisely packed into each lecture could really make your class easier and much more enjoyable.

Here are a some more direct links for those of you who are less motivated to search. enjoy

Classical Mechanics:

Electricity and Magnetism:

Vibrations and Waves

Anonymous said...