On the Origin of Time (2023) guides you through the humbling, stranger-than-fiction theories that the late physicist Stephen Hawking developed in the last two decades of his life. With quantum physics, holograms, and inspiration from Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory, it reveals what the great scientist came to believe about the origins of the universe.
Anyone familiar with A Brief History of Time
Why The Universe Is the Way It Is (2008) takes you on a cosmic journey from the Big Bang to the mysteries of time, all while exploring the universe's beauty and complexity. With a perfect balance of science and theology, it's a must-read for the curious and contemplative.
A Brief History of Time (1988) takes a look at both the history of scientific theory and the ideas that form our understanding of the universe today. From big bangs and black holes to the smallest particles in the universe, Hawking offers a clear overview of both the history of the universe and the complex science behind it, all presented in a way that even readers who are being introduced to these ideas for the first time will understand.
The Big Picture (2016) is an ambitious look at the world as we know it and how scientific thinking can be used to make sense of most of it. An insightful examination of the origins of life, consciousness and the universe itself, this book gives readers a deductive way of considering the most challenging questions that philosophy, physics and biology have to offer.
Welcome to the Universe (2016) is a mind-blowing and breathtaking introduction to astrophysics, based on the popular course the three authors cotaught at Princeton University. It takes everyone – even the nonscience-minded – on a trip through the known universe, stopping to examine stars, galaxies, black holes, and more, all while presenting fascinating theories regarding time travel, the big bang, and the prospect of life in other galaxies.
Life at the Speed of Light (2013) chronicles the pioneering work of the author and his team in creating the world’s first synthetic life form. You’ll experience the thrill of discovery as you follow the team’s groundbreaking work in synthesizing the world’s first genome and exploring the teleportation of living organisms.
The Grand Design (2010) tells the fascinating story of how humans came into being and how we began to use the scientific method to explain both our remarkable growth as a species and the world around us. From the foundational laws of Newton and Einstein to the mind-bending science of quantum physics, find out how far we’ve come and how close we are to answering life’s big questions.
In an attempt to understand what motivated this peerless scientist, Walter Isaacson’s insightful biography (2008) delves into Einstein’s personal life. And, as it turns out, there are many factors that shaped Einstein – his rebellious nature, his fervent curiosity and his commitment to individual freedom.
Everyday, we benefit from huge advances in both scientific theory and practice. What triggered this progress? In The Beginning of Infinity (2011) – a journey through the fundamental fields of science and philosophy – physicist David Deutsch argues that all progress results from one single human activity: the quest for explanations. Human creativity opens up limitless opportunities for progress, making knowledge the “beginning of infinity.”
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2014) is an informative guide to how we arrived at the two pillars of modern physics: Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics. Author Carlo Rovelli describes the wondrous world opened up by these two theories, including the secrets they’ve revealed and the mysteries and paradoxes they’ve exposed.
The Upright Thinkers (2015) takes you through the fascinating evolution of science, tracing the footsteps and influence of major figures along the way – from Galileo to Einstein to Heisenberg. These blinks will start with a trip back in time to the first moments humans learned to control fire, and will leave you with a brief summary of quantum mechanics.
Future Stories: What’s Next? (2022) explains the roots of how we make decisions about the future and illuminates the urgent responsibility on humanity’s shoulders today, with a multidisciplinary approach to time informed by biology, philosophy, and cosmology.
The God Equation (2021) is an approachable look at the history and present of theoretical physics. This primer untangles the science behind relativity, string theory, and the search for the elusive “theory of everything.”
Reality Is Not What It Seems (2014) offers a quick overview of the long journey modern science has taken from the cosmic observations of ancient Greece to the heady theories of quantum mechanics. These blinks offer an easily digestible take on the many twists and turns that have occurred in the history of modern physics, as well as an overview of the tricky questions physicists continue to grapple with today.
The Janus Point (2020) is a provocative, new take on the origins of time and the fate of the universe. Today, most physicists believe that the universe as we know it began with the big bang. But there may be a different possibility – that the big bang wasn’t the beginning of time, but merely a very special point in the history of our cosmos.
The Tao of Physics (1975) explores the relationship between the hard science of modern physics and the spiritual enlightenment of Eastern mysticism. These blinks lay out striking parallels between relativity theory and quantum theory on the one hand and Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism on the other.
Genius (2011) charts the life and career of brilliant physicist Richard Feynman, from his formative upbringing to his remarkable and lasting contributions to science. Though he’s not as renowned as Albert Einstein, and has no groundbreaking theories to his name, Feynman did change the way scientists look at the world.
The Future of Humanity (2018) explores the challenges we face finding new homes on other, potentially hostile, planets. As physicist Michio Kaku shows us, this scenario is no longer science fiction, but rather a very pressing concern for scientists and future-minded entrepreneurs. Kaku presents the options currently being explored as well as the many problems that are on the verge of being solved.
The Order of Time (2017) unpacks the latest research in physics to turn our everyday concept of time on its head. What we perceive and experience as a linear movement, from past to present and into the future, is little more than a trick of the mind. The reality, Carlo Rovelli shows, is a whole lot more interesting and bizarre.
The Emperor’s New Mind (1989) is a timeless argument against the computability of the human mind. Taking you on a fascinating journey through math, computer science, philosophy, and physics, famous mathematician Roger Penrose explains what makes the human mind so special – and what quantum mechanics has to do with consciousness.
Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation Is a sweeping account of the rise of nuclear science, tackling some of the biggest myths and realities surrounding radiation. Debunking some safety myths while carefully documenting real risks, it is also an urgent call for society to confront their fears and in doing so, make better choices in everything from medical procedures to nuclear power.
The Great Mental Models Volume 2 (2019) is all about the art of making unexpected connections. Rooted in the “hard” sciences, it unpacks core concepts from physics, chemistry, and biology. But it’s not only about electrons, elements, and evolution. The ideas covered in this fascinating intellectual history can also be applied to everyday life.
When Einstein Walked with Gödel (2018) is an excursion through both the fabric of our reality and the limits of scientific imagination. Combining math and physics with history and philosophy, it sheds light on some of the most important scientific theories of the last three centuries – and examines the turbulent lives of the geniuses who conceived them.
Helgoland (2021) is a dreamy and poetic exploration of quantum mechanics. This slim volume describes the strange subatomic world where nothing is ever completely certain.
Time Travel (2016) details the history of a captivating concept. These blinks explain how the idea of time travel came into the popular consciousness, what problems the theory presents and how you might already be time traveling without even knowing it.
Chaos (1987) delves into the most recent theoretical revolution in physics: chaos theory. In the 1970s, scientists began discovering that the world doesn’t behave as neatly as classical physics suggests. From the weather to animal populations to our heartbeats – irregularities, disorder, and chaos pervade our universe. And yet, there seems to be a strange order to the chaos of life. Chaos explores the history of this new science, revealing its startling findings, and pondering its implications.
Zero (2000) is the fascinating story of a number banned by the ancient Greeks and worshipped by ancient Indians. Zero – as well as its twin, infinity – is a number that’s been at the heart of both mathematics and philosophy over the centuries.
The Particle at the End of the Universe gives you a crash course in particle physics by explaining the basics of what has become known as the “standard model.” The book also details the fascinating and exciting journey that eventually led to the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson.
Antimatter (2010) is a detailed look at one of the most mysterious and misunderstood topics in physics: antimatter. This accessible guide explains what antimatter is, how it works, and what it can teach us about the universe.
What If? 2 (2022) is Randall Munroe’s follow-up to the New York Times best-selling What If? Like its predecessor, it comprises Munroe’s serious scientific answers to the absurd, funny, and whimsical questions submitted to him by readers, ranging from “How big would a snowball be if rolled from the top of Mt. Everest to the bottom?” to “Could a person eat a cloud?”
How will the universe end? Will it cool down, tear apart, or even collide with a parallel universe? The Blink to The End of Everything (2020) peers into the furthest reaches of time and space, shedding light on the ultimate end of the universe and everything in it. Drawing on the latest cutting-edge research in cosmology and particle physics, the book introduces us to five of the most likely cosmic doomsday scenarios proposed and describes what it would actually be like to experience them.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) is a groundbreaking study in the history of science and philosophy. It explains how scientists conduct research and provides an interesting (if controversial) explanation of scientific progress.
In What If? (2014), Randall Munroe presents earnest, thoroughly researched answers to absurd, hypothetical questions in a highly entertaining and digestible format. Munroe serves up the most popular answers from queries he received through his What If? blog, along with a host of new, delightful, mind-bending questions and answers.
Genesis (2019) lays out a gripping, blow-by-blow account of the first 13.8 billion years of our universe. From the mysterious initial void to the birth of the very first stars, it conjures up vistas no less dizzying than the grand creation myths of old.
In this book, Ian Stewart focuses on 17 famous equations in mathematics and physics history, highlighting their impact on society. Stewart gives a brief history of the wonders of scientific discovery, and peppers it with vivid examples and anecdotes.
What is Life? (1944) is a classic scientific text based on a series of lectures given at Trinity College, Dublin, by famous physicist Erwin Schrödinger. Though Schrödinger was a physicist, these lectures addressed issues in biology and genetics – primarily the fundamental question of how physics and chemistry can account for the processes that occur within living organisms. The concepts he explored went on to spark a revolution in genetics, inspiring, among others, the biologists James D. Watson and Francis Crick, who together proposed the double helix structure of DNA.
Atomic Accidents (2014) explores the evolution of one of the most fascinating and yet controversial technologies of our times, nuclear energy. These blinks explore the development of nuclear technology and reveal the details behind the tragic accidents that occurred along the way.
The Laws of Thermodynamics (2010) is a short and accessible introduction to thermodynamics, the field of physics concerned with the relationships between different forms of energy. Authored by one of the world’s preeminent authorities on the subject, Peter Atkins, it explains the four laws that govern the universe – the zeroth, first, second, and third laws. Along the way, The Laws of Thermodynamics unravels the workings of familiar-sounding concepts like temperature as well as more exotic ideas like entropy and energy states.
Tubes (2012) traces the origins of the internet, from its humble origins at a few US universities to its current superstructure status. You’ll find out about the physical components of the internet, including fiber cables, hubs and massive internet exchange points.
Structures (1978) examines the fundamental, physical laws that keep the physical structures of our world intact, from man-made structures like airplanes, to biological structures like the body of a horse. These blinks outline the ways in which our structures are prone to collapse, and the critical value of scientists who perform complex calculations to keep our structures sturdy – and keep us safe.
Why Information Grows (2015) takes you straight to the heart of the battle between entropy and order, examining the way that information is propagated and its impact on life, civilization and the universe. In doing so, the book offers a thought-provoking explanation for the success of human beings on earth.
Ignorance investigates the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific method and reveals the importance of asking the right questions over the discovery of simple facts. Using real-life examples from history, Ignorance shows that it is our awareness of what we don’t know that drives scientific discovery.