Best Physics Books

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 6, 2020
Physics books allow you to gain some understanding and perspective regarding everything that surrounds us and is somehow related to us. The best physics books make the most complex subjects in the world accessible and digestible. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Author
Subject
Book Type
Publisher
Number of Pages
 
PROS

The book presents more than 240 full-color illustrations. These illustrations include satellite images and detailed computer-generated images showing three and four-dimensional realities. The detailed captions clarify these illustrations and images, making them digestible. 

CONS

People with no physics/STEM background might find the book difficult to digest. 

OUR VERDICT

The Wall Street Journal called this book the most masterful summary of what modern-day physicists believe the world is made of and how everything got this way.  As far as we're concerned, that's an accurate assessment. Hawking's good-natured humor makes the book feel much less dry than one'd expect. 

detailed parameters
Author

Stephen William Hawking 

Subject

Explaining the complexities of cosmological physics with an engaging combination of clarity and wit 

Book Type

Hardcover, Paperback, Unknown binding

Publisher

Bantam

Number of Pages

248 pages

PROS

The book's been competently divided into chapters, so you won't be jumping between pages figuring out the same principles again and again. These chapters include objectives lists and tests. The book presents frequent questions and gives readers problems to respond to, increasing learning speed and retention.

CONS

Too much time talking about "miles per hour per second" and "pounds per square foot".

OUR VERDICT

Karl F. Kuhn's Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide allows you to work and study at your own pace. The book's interactive, self-teaching approach is engaging and effective. The book is good enough for kids learning the fundamentals and for adults looking to brush up on their physics knowledge.

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Author

Karl F. Kuhn 

Subject

Practical, complete, and easy-to-use guide available for understanding physics and the physical world 

Book Type

Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle edition

Publisher

J. Wiley

Number of Pages

301 pages

PROS

Tyson takes mind-boggling, complex concepts, strips these concepts down to the nuts and bolts, and pads them with vivid allegories and dorky jokes, making complex topics easy to follow. The author's explanations are brief and concise yet dynamic and impactful. The tone is chatty, so you'll be able to consume the book within days.

CONS

A lot of the content from other author's books is inserted into this one.

OUR VERDICT

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will resonate with scientifically bent readers first and foremost. At the same time, Neil deGrasse Tyson has been able to match his profound intellect with enough charm and wit to streamline and simplify the most complex ideas, making them accessible enough. 

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Author

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Subject

Explaining some of the most complex astrophysics concepts in layman's terms 

Book Type

Hardcover, Kindle edition, Audiobook (downloadable and MP3 CD version)

Publisher

W. W. Norton & Company

Number of Pages

224 pages

PROS

Despite its short length, the book is able to touch upon Einstein's general relativity, tackle quantum mechanics and elementary particles, explain gravity, confront black holes, approach the complex architecture of the universe, and even flirt with humanity's role within this universe. 

CONS

The book's pretty short. 

OUR VERDICT

Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics celebrates the joy of discovery. The author's elegant prose guides you through the physics' biggest ideas. Though brief, the seven lessons are able to distil centuries of science without even remotely bastardizing them.

detailed parameters
Author

Carlo Rovelli

Subject

Mind-bending introduction to modern physics (explaining some of the biggest ideas in physics) 

Book Type

Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle edition, Audiobook (downloadable and MP3 CD version)

Publisher

Riverhead Books

Number of Pages

96 pages

PROS

The book takes you on the most thrilling ride, guiding you through this fascinating and intriguing landscape and making you enjoy pretty much the entire reading experience. You can consume the book however you want, choosing between hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, and audiobook formats. 

CONS

The later chapters become a little hard to understand.

OUR VERDICT

Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe makes sophisticated concepts and the most complex topics not only accessible but also entertaining. The book sets the standard that will be impossible to beat, aiming to make string theory as notable within pop culture as black holes. 

detailed parameters
Author

Brian Greene

Subject

Introducing string and superstring theory, providing a comprehensive yet non-technical assessment of the theory 

Book Type

Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle edition, Audiobook (downloadable version), Unknown binding

Publisher

W. W. Norton & Company

Number of Pages

447 pages

Stephen William Hawking The Illustrated Brief History of Time

Clarity and Wit

Calling the updated and expanded edition of Stephen Hawking's The Illustrated Brief History of Time brilliant would be quite an understatement. Though there are many talented authors, there's no one who can break down these mathematically formidable subjects with such vivid clarity.

Sure, people with no physics/STEM background might find still the book difficult to digest. But what can you do, these are demanding subjects.

At the same time, featuring more than 240 full-color illustrations, including incredible satellite images, photographs made via the Hubble Space Telescope, and the most vivid computer-generated images displaying three and four-dimensional realities.

These illustrations, images, and photographs are accompanied by detailed captions clarifying them, letting the uninitiated readers experience the mind-boggling vastness of intergalactic space, as well as black holes' nature, and the microcosmic world of particle physics where matters and antimatter are constantly colliding.

In short, the updated and expanded edition of The Illustrated Brief History of Time is easily one of the best physics books ever written. No one besides Stephen Hawking could break down the cosmological physics' complexities with such clarity and wit.

Review of Stephen William Hawking The Illustrated Brief History of Time Updated and Expanded Edition

 

Karl F. Kuhn Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide

Best Physics Books for Beginners

Karl F. Kuhn's Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide makes physics accessible to readers with no science backgrounds.

Some have even gone as far as to call the book's 1st edition the most complete and easy-to-use guide available for understanding physics. We can get where these reviewers were coming from.

The book makes learning key concepts more of a pleasure than a chore. You'll be able to quickly figure out the basics behind energy, light, sound, electricity, and color.

First and foremost, the book's easily digestible because it requires pretty much no math. Sure, there are mathematical treatments/applications included in the optional sections, so you'll also be able to mathematical approach. You won't be forced to do so though.

At the same time, the book provides readers with frequent questions and offers problems to respond to, increasing the readers' learning speed and retention. The chapters cover Newton's Laws of Motion, Atoms and Molecules, Gravity, The Conservation of Momentum and Energy, and The Quantum Nature of Light.

There are tests at the end of these chapters, so you'll be able to find out whether you've been able to figure out the chapter's subject or not. There are also objectives lists for each chapter, so you can always skip ahead or find help when necessary.

Review of Karl F. Kuhn Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide 2nd Edition

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Illuminating yet Delightful

Despite his Twitter antics (or maybe even partially thanks to them), Neil deGrasse Tyson has been able to become the most beloved and celebrated modern-day astrophysicist. Of course, his countless TV appearance helped but it is the author's books that allowed him to make a name for himself to begin with.

The man excels at streamlining and simplifying difficult ideas, taking these mind-bogglingly complicated/complex concepts, stripping these ideas down to the nuts and bolts, padding these proverbial nuts and bolts with the most colorful allegories and the dorkiest jokes, and making these intricate subjects more than accessible to the layman.

Tyson's explanations are succinct yet dynamic, so you'll be able to follow and grasp various astronomical topics that would be practically impossible to comprehend without his help and/or physics background.

Riffing on subjects like gravity, dark matter, light (including its speed and makeup), and the shape of space, the beloved astrophysicist is able to maintain this chatty tone that makes these complex principles relatively comprehensible to most people.

Although the book's been written for people in a hurry, we urge you to consider taking your time. The author's sparkling wit makes the chapters almost too consumable, so you'll finish the book in a few days and will want to reread as soon as possible.

Review of Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Hardcover

 

Carlo Rovelli Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Delightfully Poetic

Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is short. The book's not even 100 pages long. At the same time, the book has been described as this whirlwind tour into the biggest physics ideas and the author has already been compared to Stephen Hawking on multiple occasions.

The book offers the most playful and entertaining introduction to modern physics, briefly yet briskly touching upon Einstein's general relativity, tackling quantum mechanics, explaining elementary particles, pointing out gravity's peculiarities, confronting black holes, approaching the universe's complex architecture, and even flirting with the role that humans have, are, and will play in this bizarre play, this weird yet exciting and wonderful world.

The author's delightfully poetic. His guide is scientific yet philosophical at the same time. In less than 100 pages, the man manages to take us to our knowledge frontiers, approaching the space's fabric, the cosmos' origins, and going back to our mind's working.

In other words, the book is excellent at celebrating the joy of discovery. Rovelli's prose is elegant yet clear. Somehow, the author is able to explain the biggest ideas in physics sometimes within 2-3 pages.

Review of Carlo Rovelli Seven Brief Lessons on Physics First Edition

 

Brian Greene The Elegant Universe

Peel Away the Layers of Mystery

Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe is no joke. Initially, the book's able to introduce the string/superstring theory and provide a relatively comprehensive yet non-technical assessment of that theory. The later chapters become pretty hard to understand though.

The man's brilliant, there's no doubt about that. A brilliant string theorist but, at the same time, a surprisingly brilliant author too. The man might even be able to do for string theory pretty much what Stephen Hawking did for black holes.

The book's a thrilling ride that takes you through the most captivating landscape, making the reading experience exciting yet rewarding.

Peeling away mystery layers, Greene's able to reveal the universe that comprises eleven dimensions, dimensions where the space fabric proceeds tearing and repairing itself, while all matter - from the tiniest quarks to the most enormous supernovas - is generated by these vibrations that are essentially microscopically tiny energy loops.

Sounds quite complicated, right? Nevertheless, Greene's book works wonders making these sophisticated concepts accessible and even entertaining. Though the book's topics are quite abstract, you'll definitely come out from this experience understanding the universe and theoretical physics better than ever before.

Review of Brian Greene The Elegant Universe Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

 

What Is a Physics Book?

Generally speaking, physics are as accessible to the uninitiated adults as advanced trigonometric equations are to toddlers. From Einstein's general relativity to quantum mechanics, from elementary particles to gravity, from black holes to light, energy, sound, color, and electricity, we're not even approaching everything that physics tackle and encapsulate.

Physics offer the most sophisticated, intricated, complex and complicated concepts, ideas, and principles. You cannot even hope to understand these things without major assistance. As you would imagine, these physics books are there to provide that assistance.

Though very different, these modern books will guide you through the cosmos and explore just about everything modern-day physicists know about the universe. Some books on the list are accessible to beginners. Other books will be hard to follow for people who don't have any physics and/or STEM background.

We can tell you this much though - all of these books will turn out far more interesting, engaging, and entertaining than you would expect. They're great for college and high school kids. You'll be able to learn physics from these books no matter the age.

These book stands will enable you to read these books as comfortably as possible. After physics literature, we could recommend, for instance, Stephen King's books since these are as engaging but far more accessible and arguably more entertaining.

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Publish Date: 2020-01-06 11:28:32