Thursday, April 11, 2024

RIP David Goodstein (1939–2024)

David Goodstein (an emeritus physics professor at Caltech) died yesterday. This is the end of an era.

I watched many of The Mechanical Universe videos in high school. The beginning and end of each video showed Goodstein lecturing to students in the big Caltech physics lecture hall. I had Goodstein for Physics 1a (mechanics) in fall of my frosh year in that same lecture hall, and I remember how surreal it felt. That was one of my big "Wow, I am now at Caltech." things. Also, I came out of lectures feeling that I understood the material — but then I tried the homework and saw that I didn't actually yet understand it.

(h/t Barry Simon)

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