Robert J. Kolenkow

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Robert J. Kolenkow is an American physicist and teacher. He is best known for being the coauthor, along with Daniel Kleppner, of a popular undergraduate physics textbook.

Kolenkow did his undergraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1955. For a time, he was an associate professor of physics at MIT. His departure in 1971 generated some controversy on campus; he was regarded as an excellent teacher by his students, however, the administration was viewed as being more concerned about research than education when making its tenure decisions.

Kolenkow became a professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He also co-authored a textbook on physical geography which was favorably reviewed.


  • Kleppner, Daniel; Robert Kolenkow (1973). An Introduction to Mechanics. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 546 pp. ISBN 0-07-035048-5. 
  • Muller, Robert A.; Robert J. Kolenkow; Theodore Oberlander (1978). Physical Geography Today: A Portrait of a Planet. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-32088-3. 

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