Arthur Lewbel’s Juggling Publications and Pages       revised 3/2009, some links fixed 3/2017    

photo juggling 7    passing 9 clubs video    vova arthur jack 14 clubs 3 person line, 60 mb mov file    vova_arthur_jack youtube video


           Lewbel’s Prominent juggling articles

Prof. Lewbel co-authored “The Science of Juggling,” published in Scientific American magazine, vol. 273, No. 5 (November 1995), pp 74 – 79.  See  The Science of Juggling, PDF (with photos) or The Science of Juggling HTML (no photos). This article has since been published in nine different languages (see below), which apparently makes it the most translated publication on juggling ever written (examples) (杂耍科学).

Research in Juggling History. This article provides primary sources Lewbel collected, in text and pictures, of the early history of juggling. A shorter version was originally published in Tournaments Illuminated, Spring, 1996, #118 pp. 16-19.

A Jugglers Tribute To Claude Shannon by Arthur Lewbel, includes Lewbel’s memories and anecdotes about Shannon, and includes rare photos he took of Shannon’s juggling machines. This tribute and associated video shortsha.mov was featured as “wonderful thing of the week” on boingboing.net, see link. Another version of this tribute appeared in the Dec., 2001 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Information Theory Newsletter, pages 9-12.  See: itNL1201.pdf and scroll down to page 9. Another version is in the internet juggling data base as http://www.jugglingdb.com/articles/?id=14. Excerpts also appeared in the May/June 2001 issue of Juggle magazine.

Other juggling related articles appear below


           Videos and Photos

Juggling videos: Lewbel passing 9 clubs youtube video   vova arthur jack 14 clubs 3 person line, 60 mb mov file Note: this 60 mb file is a high resolution version of a youtube video. the original video (approx. 4000 hits) was taken down due to music copyright infringement. You can see the youtube replacement (flash with cheesier music) here: vova_arthur_jack youtube video. (filmed by Mark Bakalor, edited by Vova).

One of the photographs Lewbel took of Shannon’s “Toy Room,” shanpics.html appears in “Fortune's Formula,” by William Poundstone, published by Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005, flyleaf opposite page 148. See FortunesFormula.jpg. The book also cites Lewbel’s recollections of Claude Shannon, Shannon.html.


Here are two photographs that the inventor of the strobe light, Harold E. ‘Doc’ Edgerton, took of Arthur Lewbel in 1978: Lewbel by Edgerton 1.jpg, Lewbel by Edgerton 2.jpg

photo office juggling      photo juggling 7


Newspaper and Magazine features

Lewbel was quoted in the Sept. 1, 2008 Boston Globe Newspaper bostonglobe2jugglingarticle.html


Lewbel was featured in the March 25, 2007 Boston Globe Newspaper BostonGlobeJugglingArticle.htm


Lewbel’s juggling was profiled in the Winter, 2006 edition of the Boston College Magazine: http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/winter_2006/linden_lane/airborne.html


2006: Lewbel was interviewed for an article on the science of juggling, by Jen Waters, that appeared in the Jan. 5, 2006 edition of the Washington Times. http://washingtontimes.com/metro/20060104-095225-2459r.htm

Here is a very old article from Fortune magazine, which includes pictures of Claude Shannon, Stuart Raynolds, Paul Bachman, and Arthur Lewbel with the MIT Juggling club. The article also includes interviews with mathematician Ron Graham and co-inventor of the internet Dave Walden, among other jugglers. Fortune Juggling.pdf

Lewbel is cited extensively in The Mathematics of Juggling.



           Juggling Competitions

Lewbel won a gold medal in club passing in the 1994 National Juggling Competition, and later served as a director and a judge of the International Jugglers' Association annual National Stage Juggling Competitions. 

Lewbel appeared briefly on ESPN, as a judge for the first World Juggling Federation competitions. On the far right in this screen shot: espn2004wjf.jpg

Lewbel’s personal bests include juggling six balls for 80 seconds, seven balls for 40 seconds, eight balls for 38 catches, and fourteen catches with nine balls. He was unable to juggle for about six years due to ulnar neuropathy and epicondylitis (that is, elbow nerve damage). After two major operations and extensive physical therapy, he can now once again juggle six or seven balls.




Arthur Lewbel was founder and first president of the MIT juggling club, which is now the longest running ‘drop in’ juggling club in continuous operation in the world.

Lewbel is a member of the Juggling Information Service Committee on Numbers Juggling, which certifies world juggling records.

On Sept. 30, 2007, Prof. Lewbel gave an open to the public presentation (including juggling) on Claude Shannon and his juggling machines as part of the opening celebration for a new gallery and Shannon collection at the MIT museum (265 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA,). Other juggling demonstrations and classes were given by the MIT juggling club. This is a video (taken by Christine Rhubarb that day) of Lewbel passing 9 clubs with Nic Price: Arthur Nic passing.



           Other juggling publications

"The Academic Juggler," by Arthur Lewbel, was a regular feature in Jugglers World magazine from 1987-1996. See below for a complete list of these columns. One example column is this history of juggling notations.

"Juggling and the Subjective Records of Physical Skills," Tournaments Illuminated (a publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism), Summer 1987, #83 pp. 25-26 (under the pseudonym Leiftameon Carlsefnisson). This article speculates on the difficulty of recreating historical physical skills from subjective records, using as an example modern inaccurate drawings of juggling. See also “Research in Juggling History,” published in Tournaments Illuminated, Spring, 1996, #118 pp. 16-19. A revised, somewhat expanded version of this paper is: Research in Juggling History. This article provides primary sources, in text and pictures, of the early history of juggling.  

Translations of “The Science of Juggling,” by Peter Jan Beek and Arthur Lewbel:

English (original): The Science of Juggling (Scientific American Vol. 273, No. 5 (November 1995), pp 74 – 79)

French: La science de la jonglerie (Pour la science No. 219 (Janvier 1996), pp 80 - 86)

Italian: La scienza dei giochi di destrezza (Le Scienze No. 329 (Gennaro 1996), pp 80 - 86)

Japanese: Otedama no kagaku (Nikkei Science Vol. 26, No. 1 (January  1996), pp 78 - 85)

Polish: Teoria zonglowania (Swiat Nauki Vol. 53, No. 1 (January 1996), pp 76 - 81)

Spanish: La ciencia del malabarismo (Investigacion Y Ciencia No. 232 (enero de 1996), pp 72 - 79)

Arabic: The Science of Juggling [Arabic translation] (Majallat Al-Oloom Vol. 12, No. 2 (February 1996), pp 4 - 9)

German: Jonglieren (Spektrum der Wissenschaft, February 1996, pp 80 - 86)

Chinese: 杂耍科学 ,  Zá Shuǎ De Xué , Mixing Juggling With The Study of Science, ( Xué, March 1996, pp 41 - 47)

(examples: french, german, arabic)


The following is a complete list of Lewbel’s Academic Juggler columns that were published in Jugglers World:

"Memorable Tricks and a Numbers Formula," Jugglers World, Winter 1987-88 p. 31; Describes Shannon's theorem and thoughts on what makes tricks memorable. A copy is here

"A Short Lesson in Thought and Gravity," Jugglers World, Summer 1988 p. 31; Shannon's juggling robot and basic physics of gravity.

"Getting Back Around to Your Own Clubs," Jugglers World, Winter 1988-89 p. 34; Proof that passing patterns return to their starting position.

"The Academic Juggler," Jugglers World, Summer 1989 p. 27; More on passing pattern cycles, comments on Ron Graham.

"Clubs Have Come a Long Way," Jugglers World, Winter 1989-90 p. 32; Describes recent history of juggling clubs.

"Scientific Minds Respond to Latest Inquiry," Jugglers World, Summer 1990; Short bibliography of articles, list of juggler/computer users. A copy of the text only is here.

"Freefalling, or, Jugglers' Many Commonalities," Jugglers World, Fall 1990 p. 25; Juggling in freefall and common attributes of jugglers. A copy of the text only is here.

"Academic Juggler," Spring 1991 p. 24; Jugglers World, Recent literary references to juggling. A copy of the text only is here.

"Picture That!" Fall 1991 pp. 12-13; Jugglers World, Describes some even spatial arrangements of objects that occur during juggling. A copy of the text only is here.

"You Can't Texas Skip if Your Honda's Too Heavy," Jugglers World, Spring 1992 p. 35; Provides some physics of the Lasso.

"The Structure and Judging of Juggling Competitions," Jugglers World, Spring 1993, pp.18-19. Discusses Inherent difficulties in judging juggling performances.

"A Free Offer, a Call to Teachers, and the Invention of Juggling Notations," Jugglers World, Winter 1993-94, pp. 34-35. Discusses the multiple invention of site swap notations and diagrams. A copy is here.

"A Messy History, and Other Academic Notes," Jugglers World, Winter 1994-95. Summarizes the founding of the MIT juggling club, the "Drops and Descents" article by Buhler, Graham et. al, and talks about the history of Mills Mess.

"The Science of Learning and Juggling," Jugglers World, Fall 1995. Describes studies of how people learn to juggle, and gives a bibliography of publications on the subject.


Arthur Lewbel’s home page



Other useful juggling Links: The International Jugglers' Association, The Internet Juggling Database, The World Juggling Federation, rec.juggling newsgroup The European Juggling Association, The Juggling Information Service, Todd Smith Products.