About the Author

Jearl Walker

Jearl Walker, professor of physics at Cleveland State University, received his BS in physics from MIT in 1967 and his PhD in physics from University of Maryland in 1973. He is both an active teacher, who understands the challenges faced in today's classroom, and a world renowned communicator of science to the general public. Jearl was the first recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from Cleveland State’s College of Science based on his impressive contributions to science teaching over the last 30 years. The award has been aptly renamed the Jearl Walker Outstanding Teaching Award in recognition of his many achievements.

His book The Flying Circus of Physics was published by Wiley 30 years ago, has been translated into at least 10 languages, and is still being sold world wide. For 16 years he toured his Flying Circus talk throughout the U.S. and Canada, introducing such physics stunts as the bed-of-nails demonstration and the walking-on-hot-coals demonstration, inspiring countless physics teachers to attempt similar feats in their own classroom. These talks led to his PBS television show Kinetic Karnival which ran nationally for years and which earned Jearl an Emmy.

During his 13 years with Scientific American magazine, he wrote 152 articles for "The Amateur Scientist" section, which were translated into at least 9 languages world wide. His topics ranged from the physics of judo to the physics of béarnaise sauce and lemon meringue pies.

In 1990, Jearl took over the textbook Fundamentals of Physics from David Halliday and Robert Resnick, and has not had a full night’s sleep since. He has lost count of the number of times he has been on television and radio and interviewed for newspapers and magazines. However, he clearly remembers the 20 minutes he spent performing on the Johnny Carson show, where he stuck his fingers into molten lead.