|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.
His book The Flying Circus of Physics was published 30 years ago, was translated into at least 10 languages, and was still being sold world wide when the second edition was published in 2006. That new edition is being translated into eight other languages. 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 to countless physics teachers, who then proceeded to hurt themselves when they repeated the stunts in their own classrooms. These talks lead to his PBS television show Kinetic Karnival which run nationally for years and which landed him a local Emmy, now proudly displayed in his first-floor bathroom.
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, he took over the textbook Fundamentals of Physics from David Halliday and Robert Resnick. Since then he has published five editions of the book, selling over one million copies. 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 Tonight Show with Johnny Carson show, where he stuck his fingers into molten lead without losing any of them, to the great relief of his mother who was at home watching the show.