Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in | Create Account

The Wonders of Electricity and Magnetism

09/25/2005 2:00 PM 26-100
Walter Lewin, Professor of Physics;

Description: The inimitable Walter Lewin gives a literally hair-raising performance in this MIT Museum lecture/demonstration for learners young and old. He unveils the real meaning behind words and things most of us use everyday without reflecting on what marvels they really represent.

Here are some of the mysteries exhibited, explored, and explained in this talk: How can you make two perfectly normal balloons zoom apart from each other? What happens when you connect a 12-volt light bulb to a 110-volt outlet? If you toss a handful of confetti onto a comb, why does some of it stick and some of it fly away? What's the best way to make sure your flashlight will work the next time you really need it? (If you guessed putting in new batteries, go to the back of the class.)

Lewin is at his electrifying best when working with children from the audience. He gives a 12-year-old girl the worst hair day of her life, and offers a young boy 10 cents for 10 hours of backbreaking labor. But Lewin reaches a new high (low?) when he repeatedly beats one of his young assistants with a swatch of cat fur. Lewin doesn't exempt himself from the torture, though: he even makes a serious attempt to electrocute himself with a 150,000-volt Van der Graaf generator.

Lewin indulges the armchair physicist who's mathematically challenged, by covering all the basics of electricity and magnetism while introducing just one equation. If you're still undecided, check out some of the unique special effects _ sparks, flashes, smashes, and more _pinpointed in the Video Index. Keep watching, and you will find out why Walter Lewin was recently honored with MIT's Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

With the addition of this video to MIT World, Lewin has a total of 100 lectures available on line--94 at OpenCourseWare and 6 at MIT World.

About the Speaker(s): Walter H. G. Lewin is well-known at MIT for his lectures on both Newtonian mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Videos of his lectures can be viewed on the web via the Open CourseWare and Pivot links below. Lewin received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics in 1965 at the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands, and has been a member of the MIT Physics faculty since 1966. During his MIT career, Lewin's investigations in astrophysics have included satellite and high-altitude balloon X-ray observations, world-wide coordinated observations of optical and X-ray bursts, and international collaborations observing X-ray sources. In addition, Lewin has collaborated over the years with various artists on sky art events. From 1998 to 2000, Lewin worked with MIT's Center for Advanced Educational Services on creating the Physics Interactive Video Tutor project -- video help sessions for freshman physics students.

Host(s): Office of the Provost, MIT Museum

Comments (8)

insert here

Posted over 1 year by Anonymous 00:00:38

Walter is definitely an excellent teacher.

Posted 1 year by Anonymous 00:59:10

one of the greatast lecturer of physics!!!!!!!!!

Posted 1 year by Anonymous 00:00:00

insert here

Posted 12 months by Anonymous 00:00:21

insert here

Posted 12 months by Anonymous 01:20:57

insert here

Posted 10 months by Anonymous 00:00:26

insert here

Posted 9 months by Anonymous 00:00:06

this is so nasy i lovbe

Posted 5 months by Anonymous 00:00:17

You need to log in, in order to post comments. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated over 2 years ago

Created
December 12, 2011 20:36
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
4461 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

Bioengineering at MIT: Building Bridges Between the Sciences, Engineering and Health Care  (Part Two)

Bioengineering at MIT: Building Bri...

Added over 2 years ago | 01:26:00 | 2136 views

Global Poverty: How Demanding Are Our Obligations?

Global Poverty: How Demanding Are O...

Added over 2 years ago | 01:55:00 | 1475 views

Earth Systems Engineering and Management

Earth Systems Engineering and Manag...

Added over 2 years ago | 00:52:12 | 2521 views

Rebuilding the City of New Orleans: Working Across Sectors to Achieve a Common Goal

Rebuilding the City of New Orleans:...

Added over 2 years ago | 00:39:11 | 1976 views

Why do We Need Differential Pricing?/Industry Perspective

Why do We Need Differential Pricing...

Added over 2 years ago | 00:56:25 | 1527 views

Leadership Amidst Crisis

Leadership Amidst Crisis

Added over 2 years ago | 00:49:35 | 6706 views