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|Known for||The Flying Circus of Physics|
Jearl Walker (born 1945 in Pensacola, Florida) is a physicist noted for his book Flying Circus of Physics, first published in 1975; the second edition was published in June 2006. He teaches physics at Cleveland State University.
Walker is a well known popularizer of physics, and appeared several times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Walker is known for his physics demonstrations, which have included sticking his hand in molten lead, walking barefoot over hot coals, lying on a bed of nails, and pouring freezing-cold liquid nitrogen in his mouth to demonstrate various principles of physics. Such demonstrations are included in his PBS series, Kinetic Karnival, produced by WVIZ in Cleveland, Ohio.
Walker authored The Amateur Scientist column in Scientific American magazine from 1978 to 1988. During the latter part of this period, he had been the Chairman of the Physics Department at Cleveland State University. He appeared regularly around this time on the long-running CBC radio science program Quirks and Quarks.
He is the first recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from Cleveland State's College of Science. The College's Faculty Affairs Committee selected Walker as the first honoree based on his contributions to science education over the last 30 years. In future years, the award will be named "The Jearl Walker Outstanding Teaching Award". The award was presented in a ceremony on April 29, 2005.
Walker was born in Pensacola, Florida and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated with a degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1973.
- Walker's blog
- His faculty profile which shows his photograph
- Another photograph (in the middle)
- Prof. Walker's essay about his stunts. Boiling water and the leidenfrost effect
- Website of his latest book Flying Circus of Physics
- Bed of Nails Demonstration