Heather Lang

Heather Lang

Author of Head First Physics

Areas of Expertise:

  • physics
  • chess
  • education
  • water
  • public health policy
  • speaking
  • training
  • writing

Heather Lang has a physics degree, a PhD in the grey area between biochemistry and physics, and international caps at both chess and cricket. She has a great interest in educational and coaching methods and has run after-school chess clubs for a number of years, making the game fun for everyone and bringing many complete beginners on to national / international level.

Heather has been able to transfer across many of these successful methods to her book Head First Physics. She is also the co-author of the Babar Particle Physics Teaching Package (Manchester University Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1999) and joint first author of a scarily popular 2002 Nature Immunology paper with a lot of jargon and some pretty pictures in it. Crystallography for the Terrified also came out of this period.

After five years doing research, analysis and writing on market intelligence in the water sector, she has recently started a new job working on public health policy.

Head First Physics Head First Physics
by Heather Lang
September 2008
Print: $34.99
Ebook: $27.99

"If you have a student who is really struggling with traditional approaches, or needs to fill in gaps in their understanding, then this might be a book to recommend to them. It is certainly very thorough. It might also be useful to have on the shelves in the prep room to help deepen your understanding of the difficulties that students face and to provide some refreshing contexts and engaging examples to explain some of these key ideas. "
--Clare Thomson, Physics Education, November 2009

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--Jerry Pournelle, Chaos Manor

"If you're in high school or college and struggle with physics concepts, Head First Physics is a recommended pick."
--Diane Donovan, The Bookwatch, Volume 3, Number 12, December 2008

"This is a truly remarkable book. The physics is taught clearly and without too much mathematics by looking at a series of well-chosen real-life or comedy tasks. If math really doesn't turn you on, this is a great way to learn Physics! I didn't think it was possible to do some of this stuff without calculus, but Head First Physics has done it."
--John Allister, Custardy

"...the Spy's judgement as a former teacher of grade eleven physics is that this material could work with a good teacher at this level. The coverage is about right for a beginning high school course on Newtonian mechanics, and the explanations appear to be correct and reasonably complete. "
--Rick Sutcliffe, The Northern Spy

"I’m sure O’Reilly was thinking of me when he started the Head First series – books on computer programming, science or mathematical subjects designed for absolute beginners but sophisticated enough for seasoned professionals. Dipping into them is like a first taste of a strange new but delicious flavor of ice cream. And a heck of a lot more nutritious they are, too. O’Reilly calls them Brain-Friendly Guides, and indeed they are."
--Bruce W. Marcus, The Marcus Letter

"The book presents a traditional approach to physics topics, but the material's presentation is innovative."
--Muhammed Hassanali, TCM Reviews

"Full of practical illustrations, real-life scenarios, and explained beautifully, this text is full of activities designed to help kids grasp the fundamentals of the subject in a way that is practically painless!...This giant book (over 900 pages) is perfect as a study guide or a stand-alone text."
--Linsey Knerl, Lille Punkin'

"Students will come away with a genuine understanding of the subject, not just a fistful of equations. Recommended."
--Marcia Franklin, MLIS, St. Paul, MN, Library Journal

"Hey, where was this book when I was in high school? This is an easy to read guide to basic mechanical physics with plenty of real world examples and fun problems to work out. It is more written for a high school audience, but early college students will find plenty of help as well."
--The Sacramento Book Review, Volume 1, Issue 5 Page 28

"Heather (if we may call upon an undeserved familiarity) starts out with the example of the reader falling into a hole which happens to go all the way through the Earth to the other side. This is something that has happened to many of us, and here in Head First Physics we learn why we start to slow down, rather than speed up, as we go deeper and deeper into the hole. Aha!"
--Bob and Joy Schwabach, On Computers

"With memorable examples and various innovations of the Head First series on full exhibition, the book is one of the must reads taking away from drab text-books and learning by memory approaches to learning physics."
--Ganadeva Bandyopadhyay, Desicritics.org

"Head First Physics is an excellent book within its scope--doing well on AP Physics Mechanics and solving mechanics problem sets both graphically and with a minimal of calculations."
--Ira Laefsky, Amazon.com