A compilation of Professor Walter Lewins and some of his lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He draws some of the best lines, especially dashed lines – so fast that his hand isn’t even moving up and down to produce the dashes.

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Okay, there’s no doubt that mathematics is indeed indispensable to physics. However, a large part of physics is philosophical in other ways – so much so, that an old physics teacher of mine said that when he was at university it was still called ‘natural philosophy’.

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For example, you have interpretational issues of quantum mechanics for which there is still some debate whether the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics is ontological or epistemological. The philosophical side of things is so important that one of the most famous experiments of physics (testing what are known as Bell’s inequalities) has been referred to as ‘experimental metaphysics’.

It’s not just that though, physics expands beyond mathematics in a much more pragmatic sense. The division into theoretical and experimental highlights this. A huge part of physics is just extracting as much information about nature as we can. Sure, we do run this through mathematical models afterwards, but maths is just that: our most powerful tool.

In summary physics is not ‘all maths’, maths reliant though it may be. I’m actually a mathematical physicist, so you might expect that I would be biased towards emphasising the role of mathematics. However, even in my work there is often a rather distinct way in how assumptions are formulated which harkens to a particular physical picture beyond just what the mathematics tell us.

His Hand Doesn’t Even Move math teacher level MIT

His Hand Doesn’t Even Move math teacher level MIT VIDEO

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