Top Physics Books of 2014

| January 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

With 2014 rapidly coming to a close it’s time to look back to what we’ve been reading throughout this year so full of surprises. Dozens of great physics books have been released in 2014 and, as always, various websites, blogs and magazines are listing their favourite reads. Here’s our version of top 5 physics books of 2014 with short reviews and links.

 No. Book Cover Review
 1.

The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity (US|CA)

The theory of general relativity, first presented in 1915, has caused quite a revolution in physics. For a hundred years the theory has been questioned, tested and explored revealing some of the most surprising secrets of the universe. In this book astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers, who played the crucial role in its development. For the upcoming anniversary of GR, The Perfect Theory offers a great overview of a great theory.

 2.

Wizards Aliens and Starships (US|CA)

From teleportation and space elevators to alien contact and interstellar travel, science fiction and fantasy writers have come up with some brilliant and innovative ideas. Yet how plausible are these ideas? Charles L. Adler, a physicist and lifelong science fiction enthusiast tackles this question in this definite guide to science fiction.

 3.

Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler (US|CA)

One of the most underlooked and, in many ways, mysterious era in the history of science was of course the reign of the third reich. Serving the Reich tells the story of physicis under Hitler when some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any ‘Jewish ideas’, whereas many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Interestingly, some of the most famous physicists played an important role at this bizarre time in history including Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg.

 4.

Five Billion Years of Solitude (US|CA) 

How would you describe the history of Earth in a single sentence? How about five billion years of solitude? After all, since Earth’s formation nearly five billion years ago, our planet has been the sole living world in a vast and silent universe. But over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of “exoplanets,” including some that could be similar to our own world, and the pace of discovery is accelerating. In this book Lee Billings draws on interviews with the world’s top experts in the search for life beyond earth.

 5.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (US|CA)

What if everyone pointed a laser pointer at the moon at the same time? Or, What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% of the speed of light? If you need to know the answer to these and dozens of other absurd, yet charming questions, What If is the perfect book for you. From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, this book offers hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

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