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CUTV News Radio Spotlights Walter Benenson

  • Broadcast in Science
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East Lansing, MI - Walter Benenson Is an Emeritus University Distinguished Professor of Physics at Michigan State University who taught there for 54 plus years and co-author of the book “Handbook of Physics” and many other published works. He has also made contributions to the field of physics education research.

“It’s particularly important for people to be cognizant of how the elements are produced and miraculously appeared on earth,” says Walter. “All life consists of variations of these 93 momentous elements and their isotopes, and regretfully most people are unaware of the significance of this, and I want to change that.” Towards the end of his career Walter joined Lyman Briggs College on the MSU campus. There his goals became understanding why physics is so hard to teach and trying to improve that situation.

Walter produced a spectacular video funded by the National Science Foundation about the production of the elements called “Nucleus Factory” which was aired nationwide on PBS stations. It is still available on YouTube.

“No matter what career you are following, you must work assiduously and with determination,” says Walter.  “And it’s extremely important you acquire a superior education and have tremendous family support, but more importantly be absolutely dedicated to your work.” You also need some good luck, for example a professor setting you on the right track.

“People can be inspired at any age,” says Walter.  “Even if you are a mediocre student, you can all of a sudden catch fire.  I never thought I would wind up being a distinguished professor of physics because I had thought of myself as a writer.  There are always chances in life, and we should be prepared for every opportunity.”

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