Books

These books about physics are great ways to explore subjects from cosmology to particle physics. You might be able to find these at your local library or order them online.

The Universe in a Nutshell

The author of this bestselling book, Steven Hawking, is considered by many to be one of the most brilliant minds of our time. This beautifully illustrated and clearly written book is a fantastic read. Some other terrific books by Hawking include The Grand Design and A Brief History of Time.

How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

This book by Chad Orzel is a funny and fascinating exploration of quantum mechanics fundamentals as the author explains it to his dog Emmy. It’s approachable and understandable and, best of all, it’s irresistible to read. If it leaves you begging for more, look for the sequel called How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog.

The Black Hole War

Leonard Susskind wrote this amazing story about how he, Steven Hawking, Gerard ‘t Hooft, and other famous physicists debated a great mystery about black holes. It is filled with amazing physics from many disciplines intertwined with an intriguing personal narrative.

Alice in Quantumland

This delightful parody on Lewis Caroll’s whimsical books introduces some of the basics of quantum mechanics by means of clever analogies. Other books written by Robert Gilmore include The Wizard of Quarks and Once Upon a Universe.

Q E D

Based on four lectures given by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, this short book is one of the best introductions to the fundamentals of quantum electrodynamics – the theory of the interactions between photons and electrons. Feynman’s uncanny ability to explain complex physics with simplicity and clarity makes QED an approachable and enjoyable read.

Antimatter

The subject of this book written by Frank Close is a captivating and often misunderstood facet of physics: antimatter – a sort of evil twin of the universe’s constituents. After the book clears away the confusion about antimatter in a detailed description of its features and limitations, it closes with an unanswered mystery about the very existence of our universe.

The Charm of Strange Quarks

This is a great book by R. Michael Barnett and others, which clearly introduces the Standard Model of particle physics. But not only does it describe the different particles and their interactions, it also describes how we observe and measure them with particle accelerators and how they were originally discovered.

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