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Professor Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.

Professor Richard Wolfson
  • Middlebury College
  • Dartmouth College
Physics explains the workings of the universe at the deepest level, the everyday natural phenomena that are all around us, and the technologies that enable modern society. It's an essential liberal art.

Dr. Richard Wolfson is the Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics at Middlebury College, where he also teaches Climate Change in Middlebury's Environmental Studies Program. He completed his undergraduate work at MIT and Swarthmore College, graduating from Swarthmore with a double major in Physics and Philosophy. He holds a master's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Physics from Dartmouth.

Professor Wolfson's published work encompasses diverse fields such as medical physics, plasma physics, solar energy engineering, electronic circuit design, observational astronomy, theoretical astrophysics, nuclear issues, and climate change. His current research involves the eruptive behavior of the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, as well as terrestrial climate change and the sun–Earth connection.

Professor Wolfson is the author of several books, including the college textbooks Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Essential University Physics,and Energy, Environment, and Climate. He is also an interpreter of science for the nonspecialist, a contributor to Scientific American, and author of the books Nuclear Choices: A Citizen's Guide to Nuclear Technology and Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified.


"Dr. Wolfson covers his topics in physics thoroughly and in an entertaining fashion. His sequence of subjects is novel and he manages transitions and cross-references extremely well."


"Professor Wolfson lectures were superb, enthusiaistic, never dull. He is an excellent teacher. Highly recommended, I wish I could go back to college and take more courses from him!"


"Professor Wolfson is easily the most gifted lecturer I have ever encountered including in 5 years of college and 2 years of grad school."


"One can't beat Richard Wolfson as a coherent, organized, knowledgable and effective lecturer."

5 Courses

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5 Courses

  1. Understanding Modern Electronics Sale

    Understanding Modern Electronics

    Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.
    Save up to $190.00 Starting at $69.95 $79.95 $69.95$79.95
    Electronic devices are fundamental to our global economy, improve our lives immeasurably, and underlie virtually every aspect of modern life. Yet very few of us have any idea of how electronic devices actually work. In fact, these increasingly complex devices operate on a few basic principles that are both fascinating and easy to understand. Now, in 24 clear and accessible lectures, award-winning Professor of...
  2. Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition Sale

    Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition

    Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.
    Save up to $185.00 Starting at $34.95 $69.95 $34.95$69.95
    With scientists perhaps on the verge of unlocking the deepest secrets of the universe and with breaking news of discovery after discovery at the frontiers of research, understanding physics has never been so important. This course puts the awe-inspiring—and at times mind-bending—concepts behind relativity and quantum mechanics within reach of anyone who wants to understand them.
  3. Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works

    Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works

    Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.
    Starting at $529.95 Starting at $529.95 $624.95 $529.95$624.95
    Discover the beauty and simplicity of science's most fundamental branch with Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works. Intensively illustrated with diagrams, experiments, animations, graphs, and other visual aids, these 60 lectures by engaging and award-winning Professor Richard Wolfson introduce you to scores of fundamental ideas such as Newtonian mechanics, waves and fluids, thermodynamics, electricity and...
  4. Earth's Changing Climate Sale

    Earth's Changing Climate

    Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.
    Save up to $170.00 Starting at $15.95 $29.95 $15.95$29.95
    This course is your chance to get some of the most up-to-date research on climate change. Earth's Changing Climate explains the concepts, tools, data, and analysis that have led an overwhelming number of climate scientists to conclude that Earth is warming—and the ways in which we humans might be responsible. Whatever your views on climate change, it's important to understand how the current scientific consensus...
  5. Physics in Your Life

    Physics in Your Life

    Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.
    Starting at $374.95 Starting at $374.95 $374.95 $374.95$374.95
    Why does a curveball curve? Why does ice float? How do CDs and DVDs work? Why don't your legs break when you jump off a chair? What keeps a moving bicycle from falling over? These questions involve physical principles that relate not only to interesting aspects of our daily lives, but also explain fundamental features of reality. In this DVD-only course, filled with hands-on demonstrations, you explore the physics...