10 books like Quantum

By Manjit Kumar,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Quantum. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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QED

By Richard P. Feynman,

Book cover of QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

My second pick is by the master himself. Richard Feynman’s little book explains quantum electrodynamics or QED to a lay audience. Not only did he receive a Nobel Prize for his discoveries in this area, but Feynman was at the pinnacle of using deep understanding of physics to give the simplest possible yet accurate description of the world as seen through physics. He steps the reader slowly and carefully through some incredible journeys of logic (without equations) to explain how light travels from one place to another and how light interacts with matter such as electrons. It’s basic stuff, but deep and a fun ride. 

QED

By Richard P. Feynman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked QED as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrated for his brilliantly quirky insights into the physical world, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the general public. Here Feynman provides a classic and definitive introduction to QED (namely, quantum electrodynamics), that part of quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles. Using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman clearly and humorously communicates both the substance and spirit of QED to the layperson. A. Zee's introduction places Feynman's book and his seminal contribution to QED in historical context and…


The Strangest Man

By Graham Farmelo,

Book cover of The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom

Dirac was one of the creators of modern quantum physics. His theoretical contributions are astonishing in their insights and their power. He was, as the title says, a very strange man: painfully shy, laconic in the extreme, and socially awkward. He spoke so rarely that his colleagues at Cambridge used to joke that “a dirac” was a unit of measurement equal to one word an hour. Farmelo is a fine writer and gives a lay reader a deep understanding of why Dirac is considered such a giant in the field.

The Strangest Man

By Graham Farmelo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Strangest Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Dirac was among the greatest scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of Einstein's most admired colleagues, he helped discover quantum mechanics, and his prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics. In 1933 he became the youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dirac's personality, like his achievements, is legendary. The Strangest Man uses previously undiscovered archives to reveal the many facets of Dirac's brilliantly original mind.


The Little Book of Cosmology

By Lyman Page,

Book cover of The Little Book of Cosmology

The most striking thing about the night sky is that it is mostly black. But if your eyes, instead of seeing visible light, could see a type of invisible light known as microwaves, it would be white. The entire Universe is glowing with the “afterglow” of the big bang fireball. Greatly cooled by the expansion of the universe in the past 13.82 billion years, the “cosmic background radiation” now consists of low-energy radio waves, principally microwaves.

Imprinted on this radiation is a “baby photo” of the universe when it was a mere 400,000 years old and matter was beginning the long process of clumping under gravity that would culminate in galaxies such as our own Milky Way. From that photo can be extracted the numbers that define our Universe, from its age of 13.82 billion years to the fact that 70 percent of cosmic mass-energy is in the form of…

The Little Book of Cosmology

By Lyman Page,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The cutting-edge science that is taking the measure of the universe

The Little Book of Cosmology provides a breathtaking look at our universe on the grandest scales imaginable. Written by one of the world's leading experimental cosmologists, this short but deeply insightful book describes what scientists are revealing through precise measurements of the faint thermal afterglow of the Big Bang-known as the cosmic microwave background, or CMB-and how their findings are transforming our view of the cosmos.

Blending the latest findings in cosmology with essential concepts from physics, Lyman Page first helps readers to grasp the sheer enormity of the…


Helgoland

By Carlo Rovelli, Erica Segre, Simon Carnell

Book cover of Helgoland: Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution

Carlo Rovelli is affectionately known as the “poet of modern physics,” and Helgoland does not disappoint in this regard. Don’t be fooled by the name, this book is about the deep concepts of quantum physics and the story of the scientists behind them.

Helgoland

By Carlo Rovelli, Erica Segre, Simon Carnell

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of 2021 by the Financial Times and a Best Science Book of 2021 by The Guardian

“Rovelli is a genius and an amazing communicator… This is the place where science comes to life.” ―Neil Gaiman

“One of the warmest, most elegant and most lucid interpreters to the laity of the dazzling enigmas of his discipline...[a] momentous book” ―John Banville, The Wall Street Journal

A startling new look at quantum theory, from the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, The Order of Time, and  Anaximander.

One of the world's most renowned theoretical…


The Age of Entanglement

By Louisa Gilder,

Book cover of The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

Guilder uses historical vignettes to describe how entanglement came to be regarded as a – or perhaps thecentral pillar of quantum physics. For example, we share a streetcar ride through Copenhagen in 1923 with Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and Arnold Sommerfeld. Although we don't know precisely what they discussed, Guilder indicates what they probably discussed based on quotations from letters and other evidence. Thus, the book reads like a historical novel. It centers on the distant correlations, dubbed (by Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger) "spooky action at a distance." Since 1964, physicists have shown this astonishing phenomenon, now called "non-locality," to be clearly predicted by quantum theory and fully confirmed by experiment. This development is the "rebirth" of quantum physics referred to in the title.  Guilder is a non-scientist who writes beautifully with a good grasp of physics.

The Age of Entanglement

By Louisa Gilder,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Age of Entanglement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Age of Entanglement, Louisa Gilder brings to life one of the pivotal debates in twentieth century physics. In 1935, Albert Einstein famously showed that, according to the quantum theory, separated particles could act as if intimately connected–a phenomenon which he derisively described as “spooky action at a distance.” In that same year, Erwin Schrödinger christened this correlation “entanglement.” Yet its existence was mostly ignored until 1964, when the Irish physicist John Bell demonstrated just how strange this entanglement really was. Drawing on the papers, letters, and memoirs of the twentieth century’s greatest physicists, Gilder both humanizes and dramatizes…


The Quantum Story

By Jim Baggott,

Book cover of The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments

Baggott's book is a rich, readable account of quantum physics as viewed at 40 key "moments" in its history. These moments range from the trouble with classical physics in 1900, leading to the notion of discrete "quanta" of energy, to the hunt for the Higgs particle at the CERN accelerator laboratory. Other moments include the invention of Schrodinger's equation, the Uncertainty Principle, and the Standard Model of particle physics. The author is an experienced science writer and former academic scientist.

The Quantum Story

By Jim Baggott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Quantum Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a century in which physicists developed weapons with the capacity to destroy our reality, whilst at the same
time denying us the possibility that we can ever properly comprehend it.

Almost everything we think we know about the nature of…


The Particle at the End of the Universe

By Sean Carroll,

Book cover of The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

Unlike the other books on my list, Carroll's book focuses on quantum physics at the very high energies attained in experimental facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. The book was published in 2012, the year LHC scientists announced the momentous discovery of the particle whose universe-filling quantum field causes other particles to acquire a non-zero mass. One reason for my enthusiasm about this book is Carroll's view that the universe is made of "fields" such as the electromagnetic field whose vibrations (or "excitations") are particles such as the proton, electron, and atom. Carroll is an experienced science writer and a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. 

The Particle at the End of the Universe

By Sean Carroll,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

A Best Science Book of the Year for the Guardian, Financial Times, and New Scientist

It was the universe's most elusive particle, the linchpin for everything scientists dreamed up to explain how physics works. It had to be found. But projects as big as CERN's Large Hadron Collider don't happen without incredible risks - or occasional skulduggery. In the definitive account of the greatest science story of our time, acclaimed physicist Sean Carroll reveals the insights, rivalry, and wonder that fuelled the Higgs discovery, and takes us on a riveting…


The Quantum Universe (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does)

By Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw,

Book cover of The Quantum Universe (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does)

This is a competent, charming account of the various mind-boggling quantum phenomena. It includes the uncertainty principle, the quantum atom, how quanta interact, the quantum vacuum, and the Standard Model. The book also ventures into the discussion of the transistor (the device behind the digital revolution) and the death of stars. Uniquely, we learn why all these results follow the basic principles of quantum physics. The authors explain these phenomena in terms of a qualitative version of Feynman's path-analysis approach to quantum physics. I hasten to emphasize that this analysis is understandable by non-scientists, and shines a nice light on why the quantum world has the unexpected properties that it does have. Cox's popular writings are widely read in the UK. Both authors are physics professors at Manchester University.

The Quantum Universe (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does)

By Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quantum Universe (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Quantum Universe , Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw approach the world of quantum mechanics in the same way they did in Why Does E=mc2? and make fundamental scientific principles accessible,and fascinating,to everyone. The subatomic realm has a reputation for weirdness, spawning any number of profound misunderstandings, journeys into Eastern mysticism, and woolly pronouncements on the interconnectedness of all things. Cox and Forshaw's contention? There is no need for quantum mechanics to be viewed this way. There is a lot of mileage in the weirdness" of the quantum world, and it often leads to confusion and, frankly, bad science.…


Beyond Weird

By Philip Ball,

Book cover of Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different

Quantum physics is supposed to be weird and mysterious, right? You might then get the impression that Beyond Weird will explain how quantum physics is weirder than weird. But, no! Beyond Weird is about how we can beyond the concept that quantum physics is weird. Philip Ball does an amazing job telling the story of how physicists have tried to make sense of quantum theory.

Beyond Weird

By Philip Ball,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."

Since Niels Bohr said this many years ago, quantum mechanics has only been getting more shocking. We now realize that it's not really telling us that "weird" things happen out of sight, on the tiniest level, in the atomic world: rather, everything is quantum. But if quantum mechanics is correct, what seems obvious and right in our everyday world is built on foundations that don't seem obvious or right at all-or even possible.

An exhilarating tour of the contemporary quantum landscape, Beyond Weird is a book about what…


Through Two Doors at Once

By Anil Ananthaswamy,

Book cover of Through Two Doors at Once: The Elegant Experiment That Captures the Enigma of Our Quantum Reality

Through Two Doors at Once is the most complete and lucid description of the archetypal quantum experiment, the so-called “double-slit experiment.” Anil Ananthaswamy interviews quantum scientists and weaves modern understanding into the history of one of the most famous science experiments ever.

Through Two Doors at Once

By Anil Ananthaswamy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through Two Doors at Once as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can matter behave both like a particle and a wave? Does a particle exist before we look at it or does the very act of looking bring it into reality? Is there a place where the quantum world ends and our perceivable world begins?

Many of science's greatest minds including Thomas Young, Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman have grappled with the questions embodied in the simple yet elusive 'double-slit' experiment in order to understand the fabric of our universe. With his extraordinary gift for making the complicated comprehensible, Anil Ananthaswamy travels around the world and through history, down to…


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