Joe Heafner

This blog is maintained by me, Joe Heafner. I have taught undergraduate astronomy and physics for twenty-four years in western North Carolina. I am an active member of AAPT at both the state and national levels. I recently chaired the AAPT Committee on Space Science and Astronomy and currently serve as chair of the Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges. This blog serves as a (partial and incomplete) chronicle of my work in raising the bar in teaching introductory physics, or at least in trying to. I hope I’m not causing too much damage.

7 Comments on “About”

  1. Matthew Morgan says:

    Thank you, truly. It may take me six months or more to get through it all earnestly, since you have a habit of recommending books that I must frequently set down and either ponder intently, or patch-up gaps in my understanding by doing a bit of research. I’ll start with Lisa Randall.

  2. Tiffany says:

    Best teacher I have ever had. Colors don’t exist!

  3. Thank you for doing what you do.

    • Joe Heafner says:

      Thank you. I hope you’re doing well.

      • Matthew Morgan says:

        Yes sir, I am looking/feeling like a million bucks.

        And Joe, since you apparently refuse to engage in shameless self-promotion, I suppose it’s up to former students to do it for you. The World deserves to know about “sticks and shadows” and the LCTTA materials ( The latter I still have my original copies, and use it to help people who are on the fence about thinking for themselves.) I ,for one, would love to see you in public debates about a wide range of topics, anywhere from education to freethinking to why Apple is better etc.

        It’s been a few years, but I’m ready for another book recommendation. Richard Dawkins’ “The blind Watchmaker” imparted the best understanding of Darwinian evolution I could have hoped for, And Christopher Hitchens is a joy to read no matter the subject. Finished “The Elements” and “The Magic of Reality” as well. Go ahead, name a few more I should read as an aspiring amateur scientist, promise I’ll read them as if I just found my girlfriends diary.

        Wish you the best.

        • Joe Heafner says:

          Well for general reading, Lisa Randall has a new book out called Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs that’s very interesting. If you’re not afraid of a little math, check out The Theoretical Minimum: What you Need to Start Doing Physics by Susskind and Hrabovsky. On the other hand, Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller is also excellent. I met him at a conference in California a few years ago.

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