100 books like In Search of the Big Bang

By John Gribbin,

Here are 100 books that In Search of the Big Bang fans have personally recommended if you like In Search of the Big Bang. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

Govert Schilling Author Of The Elephant in the Universe: Our Hundred-Year Search for Dark Matter

From my list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was caught by the astronomy virus when I was 15 years old and had my first view of Saturn through a telescope. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed writing about everything cosmic for a wide variety of audiences. Cosmology is one of my favorite topics, it’s really the most enigmatic scientific discipline. Who knows, someday, a young, brilliant 21st-century genius will find the solution to all those riddles by formulating a whole new view of the birth and evolution of the universe. That’s my secret hope.

Govert's book list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology

Govert Schilling Why did Govert love this book?

In the past, I have read lots of science fiction, but few books challenged my imagination as much as this wonderful book about parallel universes. The reason? It’s not fiction, it’s science!

Yes, I knew that some physicists had been playing with the idea of extra dimensions and parallel worlds. But it took the profound knowledge of a professional physicist and the eloquent writing style of an experienced communicator like Brian Greene to make me truly understand the weird concept of the Multiverse and the many different ways in which it might manifest itself.

Probably there’s a parallel world in which I find the whole topic too tough or too abstract, but in this one, I simply couldn’t put this book away.

By Brian Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hidden Reality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos tackles perhaps the most mind-bending question in modern physics and cosmology: Is our universe the only universe?

There was a time when "universe" meant all there is. Everything. Yet, a number of theories are converging on the possibility that our universe may be but one among many parallel universes populating a vast multiverse. Here, Briane Greene, one of our foremost physicists and science writers, takes us on a breathtaking journey to a multiverse comprising an endless series of big bangs, a multiverse with duplicates of every one…


Book cover of The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

Govert Schilling Author Of The Elephant in the Universe: Our Hundred-Year Search for Dark Matter

From my list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was caught by the astronomy virus when I was 15 years old and had my first view of Saturn through a telescope. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed writing about everything cosmic for a wide variety of audiences. Cosmology is one of my favorite topics, it’s really the most enigmatic scientific discipline. Who knows, someday, a young, brilliant 21st-century genius will find the solution to all those riddles by formulating a whole new view of the birth and evolution of the universe. That’s my secret hope.

Govert's book list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology

Govert Schilling Why did Govert love this book?

This is my favorite book about the discovery of dark energythe mysterious stuff that is currently speeding up the expansion of the universe.

It all started in 1998 when cosmologists presented their evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. I was completely stunned and puzzled. I already knew that most of the mass in the universe is in the form of mysterious dark matter, but now I had to acknowledge that the cosmos also contains a large amount of equally puzzling dark energy.

Richard Panek’s book helped me to get to grips with this new reality: the people, planets, stars, and galaxies that we know of constitute just a few percent of everything there is. Panek is a skilled writer; I thoroughly enjoyed how his book not only describes the science but also portrays the scientists.

By Richard Panek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 4 Percent Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Fascinating . . . One of the most important stories in the history of science.”— Washington Post

In recent years, a handful of scientists has been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown.
Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this cosmos-shattering conclusion. In vivid detail, he narrates the quest to find the “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy that make up 96 percent of the…


Book cover of Einstein's Unfinished Symphony: Listening to the Sounds of Space-Time

Govert Schilling Author Of The Elephant in the Universe: Our Hundred-Year Search for Dark Matter

From my list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was caught by the astronomy virus when I was 15 years old and had my first view of Saturn through a telescope. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed writing about everything cosmic for a wide variety of audiences. Cosmology is one of my favorite topics, it’s really the most enigmatic scientific discipline. Who knows, someday, a young, brilliant 21st-century genius will find the solution to all those riddles by formulating a whole new view of the birth and evolution of the universe. That’s my secret hope.

Govert's book list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology

Govert Schilling Why did Govert love this book?

I love it when I first read about new mind-boggling concepts in cosmology. That’s what happened with this elegant book about gravitational wavesminute undulations of spacetime produced by colliding black holes.

Einstein theorized about them long before I was born, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that scientists first started to really hunt for them. I never paid much interest until Marcia Bartusiak described the quest in much detail in her very accessible book back in 2000. Since then, I have become hooked on the subject.

It’s great to see that Bartusiak published an updated edition in 2017, shortly after gravitational waves were first detected. 

By Marcia Bartusiak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Einstein's Unfinished Symphony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new generation of observatories, now being completed worldwide, will give astronomers not just a new window on the cosmos but a whole new sense with which to explore and experience the heavens above us. Instead of collecting light waves or radio waves, these novel instruments will allow astronomers to at last place their hands upon the fabric of space-time and feel the very rhythms of the universe.

These vibrations in space-time-or gravity waves-are the last prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity yet to be observed directly. They are his unfinished symphony, waiting nearly a century to be heard.…


Book cover of On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking's Final Theory

Govert Schilling Author Of The Elephant in the Universe: Our Hundred-Year Search for Dark Matter

From my list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was caught by the astronomy virus when I was 15 years old and had my first view of Saturn through a telescope. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed writing about everything cosmic for a wide variety of audiences. Cosmology is one of my favorite topics, it’s really the most enigmatic scientific discipline. Who knows, someday, a young, brilliant 21st-century genius will find the solution to all those riddles by formulating a whole new view of the birth and evolution of the universe. That’s my secret hope.

Govert's book list on the mind-boggling mysteries of cosmology

Govert Schilling Why did Govert love this book?

This book may well be the next best thing to spending an afternoon with Stephen Hawking.

After all, Belgian theoretical physicist Thomas Hertog has been one of Hawking’s closest collaborators in the years before the wheelchair-bound genius died in 2018. I liked how Hertog alternates difficult theoretical concepts with his personal accounts and experiences of working with an iconic figure like Hawking.

I especially love this book because it is about one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of science: the true nature of time. In what Hertog calls "Hawking’s final theory," the laws of nature do not precede the Big Bang but co-evolve with the early universe itself.

I have to admit that parts of the book were really hard for me to understand, but I was flabbergasted by the suggestion that our observations may have a tangible influence on the evolution and the properties of the universe itself.

By Thomas Hertog,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Origin of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A wonderful book about Stephen Hawking's biggest legacy' Spectator
'Truly mind-stretching... Immensely rewarding' The Times

'This superbly written book offers insight into an extraordinary individual, the creative process, and the scope and limits of our current understanding of the cosmos' Sir Martin Rees

Stephen Hawking's closest collaborator offers the intellectual superstar's final thoughts on the universe.

Perhaps the biggest question Stephen Hawking tried to answer in his extraordinary life was how the universe could have created conditions so perfectly hospitable to life. In order to solve this mystery, Hawking studied the big bang origin of the universe, but his early…


Book cover of Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe

Eugene Terry Tatum Author Of Flat Space Cosmology: A New Model of the Universe Incorporating Astronomical Observations of Black Holes, Dark Energy and Dark Matter

From my list on science of universe (cosmology).

Why am I passionate about this?

My passionate scientific interest in cosmology began several decades ago as a Stanford student while moon-lighting as a cloud chamber photo scanner at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). An initial interest in particle physics merged with an interest in cosmology because the Big Bang theory is about both. Developing a unique cosmology model and collaborating with other cosmologists around the world was a natural extension. Following numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications, our book summarizing them was one, as well. Taking a passionate interest in anything and sharing it with others is an important first step!

Eugene's book list on science of universe (cosmology)

Eugene Terry Tatum Why did Eugene love this book?

This is the logical next step after reading Stephen Hawking’s book. Simon Singh has a PhD in particle physics, but his greatest talent, in my opinion, is as a science journalist who takes us on a fascinating tour of the universe and what our scientific discoveries tell us about it.

His book is comprehensive yet understandable for the interested layperson or budding scientist, which was reassuring to me at the time. What I loved the most about his book is that it is a stage filled with fascinating characters with a common and binding joy of discovery. I wanted to be one of them! 

By Simon Singh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Big Bang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem and The Code Book tells the story of the brilliant minds that deciphered the mysteries of the Big Bang. A fascinating exploration of the ultimate question: how was our universe created?

Albert Einstein once said: 'The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.' Simon Singh believes geniuses like Einstein are not the only people able to grasp the physics that govern the universe. We all can.

As well as explaining what the Big Bang theory actually is and why cosmologists believe it is an accurate description of the origins…


Book cover of At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe's First Seconds

Don Lincoln Author Of Understanding The Universe: From Quarks To The Cosmos

From my list on to learn about the universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Don Lincoln is both a research scientist and a masterful science communicator. On the science side, he participated in the discovery of both the top quark and the Higgs boson. On the communicator side, he has written books, made hundreds of YouTube videos, and written for such visible venues as Scientific American and CNN. He has both the scientific chops and writer expertise to tell an exciting story about why the universe is the way it is.

Don's book list on to learn about the universe

Don Lincoln Why did Don love this book?

If one sets out to understand the universe, one thing one needs to do is understand the laws and rules that govern the matter and energy that makes up the cosmos. The second thing one needs to understand is how it came into existence. In this book, Dan Hooper describes what we know about the first few minutes. Hooper is a theoretical cosmologist at Fermilab, America’s flagship particle physics laboratory. He’s also an excellent author, with a great narrative style. If you want to understand how the Big Bang banged, this is the book for you.

By Dan Hooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At the Edge of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new look at the first few seconds after the Big Bang-and how research into these moments continues to revolutionize our understanding of our universe

Scientists in the past few decades have made crucial discoveries about how our cosmos evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. But there remains a critical gap in our knowledge: we still know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. At the Edge of Time focuses on what we have recently learned and are still striving to understand about this most essential and mysterious period of time at the…


Book cover of The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything

Carole Stivers Author Of The Mother Code

From my list on nonfiction for my sci-fi future worldbuilding.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a science fiction author, reading excellent science nonfiction is like taking my mind on a trip to an unknown land, there to wander, sightsee, and reimagine my own fictional plots. During the past few years of COVID-restricted isolation, these books have replaced travel as a source of mind-expanding inspiration, affording me a refuge from the tempest of current events and leaving my brain churning with visions of future worlds. The choices below reflect a common thread: each is written or edited by an expert in the field, and the authors possess that rare combination of deep knowledge and the ability to communicate it in an engaging way.

Carole's book list on nonfiction for my sci-fi future worldbuilding

Carole Stivers Why did Carole love this book?

In the book Reality is Not What It Seems, Carlo Rovelli exhorts us to “Stop dreaming of new fields and strange particles; supplementary dimensions, other symmetries, parallel universes, strings, and whatever else.” Oh, but I wanted to dream, and Michio Kaku always takes me on such a fun ride! I loved Kaku’s The Future of the Mind, which inspired me as I wrote my own science fiction novel. So I turned to him again when I wanted to learn more about string theory, the competing theory to Rovelli’s loop quantum gravity and Kaku’s own area of expertise. It was well worth it. At least now I can plumb the allure of that symmetry, the wonder of those parallel worlds, and the fullness of those eleven dimensions—even if I may never see them proven out in my lifetime.

By Michio Kaku,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The God Equation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • The epic story of the greatest quest in all of science—the holy grail of physics that would explain the creation of the universe—from renowned theoretical physicist and author of The Future of the Mind and The Future of Humanity

When Newton discovered the law of gravity, he unified the rules governing the heavens and the Earth. Since then, physicists have been placing new forces into ever-grander theories.
 
But perhaps the ultimate challenge is achieving a monumental synthesis of the two remaining theories—relativity and the quantum theory. This would be the crowning achievement of…


Book cover of A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

Eugene Terry Tatum Author Of Flat Space Cosmology: A New Model of the Universe Incorporating Astronomical Observations of Black Holes, Dark Energy and Dark Matter

From my list on science of universe (cosmology).

Why am I passionate about this?

My passionate scientific interest in cosmology began several decades ago as a Stanford student while moon-lighting as a cloud chamber photo scanner at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). An initial interest in particle physics merged with an interest in cosmology because the Big Bang theory is about both. Developing a unique cosmology model and collaborating with other cosmologists around the world was a natural extension. Following numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications, our book summarizing them was one, as well. Taking a passionate interest in anything and sharing it with others is an important first step!

Eugene's book list on science of universe (cosmology)

Eugene Terry Tatum Why did Eugene love this book?

This is a no-nonsense look at the Big Bang theory with a large dose of current scientific theory and a small dose of modern philosophy.

I like how Krauss doesn’t pull his punches concerning either, yet he still manages to present his opinions with a wry sense of humor. Despite being a cutting-edge theoretical physicist, he doesn’t talk down to the reader; a layperson, as well as a scientist (me), can enjoy it. And I did!

By Lawrence M. Krauss,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Universe from Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions: Where did our universe come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? And how is it all going to end? Why is there something rather than nothing?" is asked of anyone who says there is no God. Yet this is not so much a philosophical or religious question as it is a question about the natural world-and until now there has not been a satisfying scientific answer. Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery: Not only…


Book cover of Cosmology: The Science of the Universe

Geraint F. Lewis Author Of A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

From my list on the mysteries of the cosmos.

Why am I passionate about this?

With a PhD in astrophysics, cosmology is my day job. My research focuses upon the dark-side, the dark matter and energy that have shaped the evolution of the universe. My scientific journey began long ago with “How and Why Wonder Books”, from dinosaurs and evolution to astronomy and space exploration. I have always devoured tales about the fundamental universe, not only the immensity of the cosmos around us, but also the lives of the tiny bits-and-pieces from which matter is made. I still read a lot of popular science, especially on the history of life on Earth, and the future impact of Artificial Intelligence. 


Geraint's book list on the mysteries of the cosmos

Geraint F. Lewis Why did Geraint love this book?

Cosmology encompasses our modern understanding of the universe, but what a strange universe it is, born in a fiery Big Bang, dominated by the dark-side, and expanding into a never-ending future. In his classic book, Harrison lays out the science of cosmology, exploring the nature of the Big Bang, the meaning of expansion, and our place in a seemingly infinite cosmos. With a lucid style, I love Harrison’s tour of modern cosmology. It is not just required reading for the cosmologist in training but is also essential for anyone wondering just how our universe works.    

By Edward R. Harrison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cosmology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cosmology: The Science of the Universe is an introduction to past and present cosmological theory. For much of the world's history, cosmological thought was formulated in religious or philosophical language and was thus theological or metaphysical in nature. However, cosmological speculation and theory has now become a science in which the empirical discoveries of the astronomer, theoretical physicist, and biologist are woven into intricate models that attempt to account for the universe as a whole. Professor Harrison draws on the discoveries and speculations of these scientists to provide a comprehensive survey of man's current understanding of the universe and its…


Book cover of It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else

Marion Dane Bauer Author Of The Stuff of Stars

From my list on the origins of our universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

My expertise on the origins of our universe comes out of fascination, nothing more. I am a long-time children’s writer who began my approach to this topic with awe. Just awe. In order to write The Stuff of Stars I read widely to expand my own understanding. A single line in this text can come out of hours of reading. The books I’m suggesting here, though, are not the scientific ones that informed my telling. Rather, I have searched out books that are exceptionally creative, accessible, interesting. Some are for the very young and some for those who share their learning with the very young.  

Marion's book list on the origins of our universe

Marion Dane Bauer Why did Marion love this book?

It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else is another picture book that covers the same territory for the very young as The Stuff of Stars. The writing is conversational and accessible. The illustrations are compelling. The two books read side by side would support and inform one another.  

By Floor Bal, Sebastiaan Van Doninck (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Started with a Big Bang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

In this accessible informational picture book, young readers can follow the fascinating story of how we got from the very beginning of the universe to life today on the “bright blue ball floating in space” called Earth. They'll learn about the big bang theory, how our solar system was formed, how life on Earth began in the oceans and moved to land, what happened to the dinosaurs and how humans evolved from apes to explore and build communities all over the planet ... and even travel to space. It's an out-of-this-world look at the beginning of everything!

Science journalist Floor…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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