97 books like On the Origin of Time

By Thomas Hertog,

Here are 97 books that On the Origin of Time fans have personally recommended if you like On the Origin of Time. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ 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 In Search of the Big Bang: The Life and Death of the Universe

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 1986 book (revised in 1999) helped me to understand the Big Bang theory. I read it during a holiday in Italy when I was just starting my career as an astronomy writer. What I had read about the Big Bang so far was either extremely elementary (not really explaining anything at all) or full of jargon and dense with equations.

But John Gribbin knew exactly how to strike the perfect balance between the two. While my wife and one-year-old son were enjoying the swimming pool, I delved into quantum physics, expanding space, and the cosmic background radiation, all presented at a level an interested high-school student could understand.

Obviously, some parts of this book are obsolete by now, but it’s still one of my all-time favorites.

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 Universe

Ian Ridpath Author Of Star Tales

From my list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, editor, lecturer, and sometime broadcaster on astronomy and space. My early interest in the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and interstellar communication led me to write my first books, Worlds Beyond (1975) and Messages from the Stars (1978). This interest also led me to investigate UFO sightings, but I soon realized that their explanation lies in human misperception and not ETs. My investigation and explanation of the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980, widely regarded as one of the top-ten cases worldwide and sometimes known as Britain's Roswell, can be found hereIn conjunction with the outstanding Dutch celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, I have produced two standard observing guides for amateur astronomers. 

Ian's book list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space

Ian Ridpath Why did Ian love this book?

I love books full of facts and figures, and for astronomers, this is one of the best. Now in its fourth edition (the first appeared in 2005), Universe (subtitled The Definitive Visual Guide) harnesses a team of expert writers with Dorling Kindersley’s designers, editors, and researchers to produce a sumptuously illustrated review of the Universe from the Earth to the Big Bang, including extensive sections on the night sky and how to view it. Dorling Kindersley’s books are natural successors to the great Reader’s Digest reference books of my childhood. If you want an encyclopedia of the Universe, this is the one to have.

By Dorling Kindersley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marvel at the wonders of the Universe, from stars and planets to black holes and nebulae, in this exploration of our Solar System and beyond.

Universe opens with a look at astronomy and the history of the Universe, using 3D artworks to provide a comprehensive grounding in the fundamental concepts of astronomy, including the basic techniques of practical astronomy.

The core of the book is a tour of the cosmos covering the Solar System, the Milky Way, and galaxies beyond our own. Explanatory pages introduce different celestial phenomena, such as galaxies, and are followed by catalogues that profile the most…


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 A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

Tom Rudelius Author Of Chasing Proof, Finding Faith: A Young Scientist’s Search for Truth in a World of Uncertainty

From my list on why a scientifically-minded person can believe in God.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a theoretical physicist and a practicing Christian. I was raised in a very loving but nonreligious household, and I didn’t seriously consider the possibility of God’s existence until I was a college student, when my twin brother came to faith and started to talk with me about it. In my subsequent journey to faith and the years thereafter, I read a number of books that changed my perspective on religion and convinced me that I could believe in God without compromising on my scientific view of the world. Chasing Proof, Finding Faith is the story of the journey I took, and the strange new world of faith I found on the other side.

Tom's book list on why a scientifically-minded person can believe in God

Tom Rudelius Why did Tom love this book?

I’ve come across a lot of misinformation about cosmological fine-tuning, and it’s time to set the record straight.

Written by a pair of astrophysicists, A Fortunate Universe explains the scientific evidence for the fine-tuning of the laws of nature: If the physical laws were slightly different, the universe as we know it–and life itself–would not exist. Luke is a theist, Geraint is not, but the two agree on all of the relevant science.

In the last chapter, they debate the best explanation for fine-tuning, and Luke lays out a compelling case for theism amidst a number of objections from Geraint. As a cosmologist myself, I resonate deeply with the way that Luke thinks about the relationship between science and faith, and I expect that any scientifically minded person will find this book both enlightening and challenging.

By Geraint F. Lewis, Luke A. Barnes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over the last forty years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the Universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as we know it - and life as we can imagine it - would be impossible. Join us on a journey through how we understand the Universe, from its most basic particles and forces, to planets, stars and galaxies, and back through cosmic history to the birth of the cosmos. Conflicting notions about our place in the Universe are defined, defended and critiqued from scientific, philosophical and religious viewpoints. The authors' engaging and witty style addresses what fine-tuning…


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…


Book cover of Strange Matters: Undiscovered Ideas at the Frontiers of Space and Time

H Chris Ransford Author Of In Search of Ultimate Reality: Inside the Cosmologist's Abyss

From my list on weird thrilling science universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I felt profoundly dissatisfied by the pat and cardboard cutout explanations that some teachers offered for life and the universe: there had to be more! I decided to go into science. The explanatory power of science is 'next level,' to use a contemporary phrase, and unless and until we explore it, we'll miss the beauty and sheer wonder of the universe. Neither should we overly specialize: science is not compartmentalized, but vastly different fields of science feed into and reinforce one another. Popular science has an essential role to play: irrespective of how arcane hard science may appear to be, its story can always be told in everyday words.

H Chris' book list on weird thrilling science universe

H Chris Ransford Why did H Chris love this book?

This often startling book provides a tour d'horizon of unsettled questions in modern physical science and, most importantly, of the intriguing directions the answers could take. It should inspire many in the rising generations of students to take the baton from their elders and seek a career in science at the edges of human understanding. A book I so wish had already been around when I began studying physics.

Tom Siegfried is a distinguished science journalist. 

By Tom Siegfried,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Scientists studying the universe find strange things in two places?out in space and in their heads. This is the story of how the most imaginative physicists of our time perceive strange features of the universe in advance of the actual discoveries.

It is almost a given that physics and cosmology present us with some of the grandest mysteries of all. What weightier questions to ponder than, "How does the universe work?" or "What is the universe made of?" There are any number of bizarre phenomena that could provide clues or even answers to these queries. The strangeness ranges from unusual…


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…


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