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.

Testimonials

"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."

67 Courses and Sets

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67 Courses and Sets

  1. (Set) Physics of History & Physics in Your Life  Set

    (Set) Physics of History & Physics in Your Life

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $629.90 Starting at $629.90 $629.90 $629.90$629.90
    Discover the instrumental roles that physics plays in solving the mysteries of the past and of our everyday lives. Start by examining how scientists use physics to explore intimate details about history from the rise and fall of preliterate societies to the origins of the solar system with The Physics of History. Then, explore the physics of everyday events in a manner that is informative, fun, and has the potential...
  2. (Set)  Physics and Our Universe & Change and Motion: Calculus Set

    (Set) Physics and Our Universe & Change and Motion: Calculus

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $744.90 Starting at $744.90 $879.90 $744.90$879.90
  3. (Set) Joy of Science & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution  Set

    (Set) Joy of Science & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $744.90 Starting at $744.90 $879.90 $744.90$879.90
    Rediscover the excitement of a great field of human endeavor. The Joy of Science provides you with a clear overview of modern science's key principles, from Newton's laws of motion to the latest genetic research. Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition examines the fascinating concepts of relativity and quantum physics in a way that any interested layperson...
  4. (Set) What Einstein Got Wrong & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution Set

    (Set) What Einstein Got Wrong & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $384.90 Starting at $384.90 $454.90 $384.90$454.90
    Learn how intuition, reason, and a taste for simplicity led Einstein to both greatness and error in this two-course set. Trace his mistakes in What Einstein Got Wrong, and celebrate his successes with Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition.
  5. (Set) Everyday Engineering: Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life & Understanding Modern Electronics Set

    (Set) Everyday Engineering: Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life & Understanding Modern Electronics

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $569.90 Starting at $569.90 $654.90 $569.90$654.90
    Get a grasp on how the everyday systems around you work with this illuminating two-course set. Start by exploring the engineering behind the infrastructure in your daily life with Everyday Engineering: Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life. Then, understand with Understanding Modern Electronics, discover how most technology we use operates on a few basic principles that are both fascinating and easy to.
  6. (Set) The Nature of Matter & Physics and Our Universe Set

    (Set) The Nature of Matter & Physics and Our Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $764.90 Starting at $764.90 $894.90 $764.90$894.90
    Broaden your knowledge of science with this set of courses. Begin by exploring the science of chemistry, which deals with matter in its infinite variety—from electrons to high-tech materials. Then, discover the beauty of physics, exploring fundamental ideas such as Newtonian mechanics, waves and fluids, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and relativity and quantum theory.
  7. (Set)  Modern Electronics & Physics and Our Universe Set

    (Set) Modern Electronics & Physics and Our Universe

    Richard Wolfson
    Starting at $764.90 Starting at $764.90 $894.90 $764.90$894.90
    Delve into the fascinating world of physics with this course set. First, in Understanding Modern Electronics, gain a thorough grasp of the power of the humble electron and see how it is harnessed to create the devices we use every day. Then, in Physics and Our Universe: How it All Works, go on a whirlwind tour of the universe and see how it behaves at every scale, from the subatomic to the extragalactic.
  8. (Set) Chemistry and Our Universe & Physics and Our Universe Set

    (Set) Chemistry and Our Universe & Physics and Our Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,059.90 Starting at $1,059.90 $1,249.90 $1,059.90$1,249.90
    If you've ever wondered what things are made of, and how they work, this two-course set is for you. Take a deep dive into the science of how everything interacts with Chemistry and Our Universe: How It All Works. Then, learn how the universe behaves at every scale, from the subatomic to the extragalactic with Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works.
  9. (Set) Redefining Reality & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution Set

    (Set) Redefining Reality & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $549.90 Starting at $549.90 $639.90 $549.90$639.90
    Understand your universe better with this profound two-set course. Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution, demonstrates how relativity and quantum physics touch the very basis of physical reality. However, what is reality? Redefining Reality takes this study to the next level, looking at the ways science has shaped our understanding of reality.
  10. (Set) Understanding Modern Electronics & Thermodynamics Set

    (Set) Understanding Modern Electronics & Thermodynamics

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Forge a link between the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and modern electronics with this set of courses. First, understand the surprisingly simple principles that all electronic devices operate on in 24 clear and accessible lectures. Next, explore thermodynamics—the branch of science that deals with heat—to see how profound an impact it has on modern society in enthralling lectures.
  11. (Set) Nuclear Physics Explained & Physics and Our Universe Set

    (Set) Nuclear Physics Explained & Physics and Our Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $764.90 Starting at $764.90 $894.90 $764.90$894.90
    Discover the beauty and simplicity of science's most fundamental branch in this spectacular two-course set. Explore the atomic nucleus and discover the powerful forces locked within it with Nuclear Physics Explained. Then, take a deep dive into how the universe behaves at every scale, from the subatomic to the extragalactic with Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works.
  12. (Set) The Science of Energy & Understanding Modern Electronics Set

    (Set) The Science of Energy & Understanding Modern Electronics

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Explore two of the most important components to powering our daily lives—energy and the devices that use it—with this illuminating two-course set. Understand how energy works and explore a broad range of sources with The Science of Energy: Resources and Power Explained. Then get a working explanation of the principles that govern electronic circuits, and see these principles in action with devices you use every...
  13. Set: 1162,9523 Set

    Set: 1162,9523

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $434.90 Starting at $434.90 $489.90 $434.90$489.90
    Technology and modern electronics have become ubiquitous in the modern age. With this two-course set, follow the fascinating world of electronics and better understand how technology is being incorporated. Whether you're an engineer, a tinkerer, or simply curious, this set will demystify electronics and technology so you can see them in a whole new light.
  14. (Set) Modern Electronics & World's Greatest Structures Set

    (Set) Modern Electronics & World's Greatest Structures

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $449.90 Starting at $449.90 $524.90 $449.90$524.90
    If you have a thirst for knowledge about the world around you, this set of two courses will satiate that thirst! First, in Understanding Modern Electronics, get to know the science behind the devices that you use every day. It's easier to understand than than you might think! Then, in Understanding the World's Greatest Structures: Science and Innovation from Antiquity to Modernity, investigate famous buildings and...
  15. (Set) The Science of Flight & Understanding Modern Electronics Set

    (Set) The Science of Flight & Understanding Modern Electronics

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    If you've ever wondered about how the machines around you actual work, this two-course set is perfect for you. Explore technology's most impressive achievement with The Science of Flight. Then, get a working explanation of the principles that govern electronic circuits, then shows these principles in action with devices you use every day with Understanding Modern Electronics.
  16. (Set) Fundamentals of Sustainable Living & Earth’s Changing Climate Set

    (Set) Fundamentals of Sustainable Living & Earth’s Changing Climate

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $399.90 $399.90$399.90
    The ramifications of global warming include everything from melting glaciers to the altered behavior of plant and animal species. Get the most up-to-date research on climate change, explaining the concepts, tools, data, and analysis in Earth’s Changing Climate, then join the sustainability revolution with Fundamentals of Sustainable Living and learn what you can do to help offset this inevitability.
  17. (Set) Organic Chemistry & Physics and Our Universe Set

    (Set) Organic Chemistry & Physics and Our Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $864.90 Starting at $864.90 $1,009.90 $864.90$1,009.90
    Get a solid grasp on the fundamentals of organic chemistry with the 36 richly illustrated lectures of Foundations of Organic Chemistry. Professor Davis shows you the many wondrous properties of carbon-based molecules, the building blocks of every living thing on Earth. Extend your study of the fundamentals of our world with Physics and Our Universe and explore the laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy.
  18. (SET) Introduction to C++ & Understanding Modern Electronics Set

    (SET) Introduction to C++ & Understanding Modern Electronics

    Richard Wolfson
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Delve into the fascinating inner workings of computers, the most essential tool of modern life, with this two-course set. Learn to code everything from games to AI programs with C++, one of the most popular and powerful programming languages ever developed, in Introduction to C++: Programming Concepts and Applications. Follow those lectures with Modern Electronics, in which an award-winning professor provides a...
  19. (Set) The Surveillance State & Understanding Modern Electronics Set

    (Set) The Surveillance State & Understanding Modern Electronics

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Uncover the positive and negative uses and implications of technology, and see how it all works, with this illuminating two-course set. Start by exploring The Surveillance State: Big Data, Freedom, and You to reveal exactly what sort of information about you is being collected and used, and by whom. Then discover the fascinating and understandable principles that govern most complex devices with Understanding Modern...
  20. Set: 1382,1426,1162,9523 Set

    Set: 1382,1426,1162,9523

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $884.80 Starting at $884.80 $1,014.80 $884.80$1,014.80
    Learn about the impact of technology on our modern lives. This four-set course delves into everything from Big Data to modern electronics, using technology to bridge the gaps and exploring the potential pitfalls that come with it. You may be surprised to find out how very connected we all are.