100 books like Through Two Doors at Once

By Anil Ananthaswamy,

Here are 100 books that Through Two Doors at Once fans have personally recommended if you like Through Two Doors at Once. 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 Helgoland: Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution

Harry Cliff Author Of Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe

From my list on the universe and our cosmic origins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by science since I was a small child. I used to try to drag my parents up to London’s Natural History Museum to gawk at dinosaurs every other Sunday and remember the delight of seeing Saturn and its rings through a telescope from our back garden. I started reading popular science books as a teenager and they were a large part of what inspired me to ultimately become a physicist. I hope the books on this list will bring a bit of awe and wonder into your life!

Harry's book list on the universe and our cosmic origins

Harry Cliff Why did Harry love this book?

I didn’t so much read this book as inhale it. Rovelli’s writing is always highly readable, and this one is no exception. The book tells the dramatic story of the origin of quantum mechanics, beginning with a holiday spent on the windswept island of Helgoland by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg in the 1920s.

Rovelli introduces the history of the core ideas of quantum mechanics with great clarity and provides an interesting new way of interpreting quantum weirdness that I found fascinating. 

By Carlo Rovelli, Erica Segre (translator), Simon Carnell (translator)

Why should I read it?

4 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…


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

Chris Ferrie Author Of Where Did the Universe Come From? and Other Cosmic Questions: Our Universe, from the Quantum to the Cosmos

From my list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!

Chris' book list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible

Chris Ferrie Why did Chris love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

Chris Ferrie Author Of Where Did the Universe Come From? and Other Cosmic Questions: Our Universe, from the Quantum to the Cosmos

From my list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!

Chris' book list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible

Chris Ferrie Why did Chris love this book?

In How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog Chad Orzel has an imaginary conversation about quantum physics with his dog, Emmy. Orzel explains each of the features of quantum physics, like superposition and entanglement, by starting first with an analogy in Emmy’s understandably dog-like behavior.

By Chad Orzel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quantum physics has never been more popular. Once thought of as an obscure science, it reached the masses via the notion of teleportation in Star Trek and, more recently, as an integral part of the popular TV series Lost and Fringe. Now, inspired by his hugely popular website and science blog, Chad Orzel uses his cherished mutt Emmy to explain the basic principles of quantum physics. And who better to explain the magical universe of quantum physics than a talking dog?


Book cover of Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Chris Ferrie Author Of Where Did the Universe Come From? and Other Cosmic Questions: Our Universe, from the Quantum to the Cosmos

From my list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!

Chris' book list on quantum physics that are also the most accessible

Chris Ferrie Why did Chris love this book?

Are you still here? Good. Because by now you are probably reading to tackle some university-level courses in quantum physics, right? Well, with your background in pop quantum physics all you need to get there is a little more abstraction. So, if you have the stomach for a bit of mathematics, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind is your ticket to the big show! (Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the math, though.)

By Leonard Susskind, Art Friedman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First he taught you classical mechanics. Now, physicist Leonard Susskind has teamed up with data engineer Art Friedman to present the theory and associated mathematics of the strange world of quantum mechanics.In this follow-up to the New York Times best-selling The Theoretical Minimum , Susskind and Friedman provide a lively introduction to this famously difficult field, which attempts to understand the behaviour of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Unlike other popularizations that shy away from quantum mechanics' weirdness, Quantum Mechanics embraces the utter strangeness of quantum logic. The authors offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and…


Book cover of Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

Art Hobson Author Of Tales of the Quantum: Understanding Physics' Most Fundamental Theory

From my list on quantum physics and how the universe works.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since my first college course in quantum physics, I have been fascinated with this enigmatic, infinitely interesting theory. It's our most fundamental description of the universe, it's been found to be unerringly accurate, yet it's quite subtle to interpret. Even more intriguingly, "nobody really understands quantum physics" (as Richard Feynman put it). For example, the theory's central concept, the wave function, is interpreted radically differently by different physicists. I have always yearned to grasp, at least to my own satisfaction, a comprehensive understanding of this theory. Since retirement 23 years ago, I have pursued this passion nearly full-time and found some answers, leading to several technical papers and a popular book.

Art's book list on quantum physics and how the universe works

Art Hobson Why did Art love this book?

Given the radically distinct and often incongruent views of what quantum physics means, it is wise to glean a balanced sense of many views by studying the topic's history. Kumar's telling of the great, decades-long debate between two of the field's leading practitioners is authoritative and excitingly told. The book centers on the founding of quantum physics during the 1920s, the famous 1927 Solvay Conference on photons and electrons, and the thoughtful debate between Bohr and Einstein concerning the nature of reality. The author is a physicist, philosopher, and science writer.

By Manjit Kumar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'This is about gob-smacking science at the far end of reason ... Take it nice and easy and savour the experience of your mind being blown without recourse to hallucinogens' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
For most people, quantum theory is a byword for mysterious, impenetrable science. And yet for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves.

In this magisterial book, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly-written history of this fundamental scientific revolution, and the divisive debate at its core. Quantum theory looks at the very building blocks of our world, the particles and processes without which it could…


Book cover of Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian

Michael DiRuggiero Author Of Einstein: The Man and His Mind

From my list on Albert Einstein for the non-scientist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the co-founder and current owner of The Manhattan Rare Book Company. I’ve been in the rare book business for 25 years, specializing in the history of science with particular emphasis on material relating to Albert Einstein. Like many people, I’ve long been drawn to Einstein, attracted by his wisdom, curiosity, personality, approachability, and general decency. 

Michael's book list on Albert Einstein for the non-scientist

Michael DiRuggiero Why did Michael love this book?

Of all the books I've read about Einstein, this one was, perhaps, the most eye-opening for me. For years, the prevailing opinion was that while Einstein was (of course) brilliant, and his special and general theories of relativity were seismically important, he was on the wrong side of history with his views on quantum theory. Stone sets the record straight: Einstein was indeed skeptical of many aspects of quantum theory (particularly with his refusal to accept quantum entanglement and inherent randomness), but his challenges to the theory were so intelligent and so piercing, that the entire scientific community had to respond to him. Stone argues convincingly that Einstein's concerns were often the driving force propelling the theory forward.

By A. Douglas Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light--the core of what we now know as quantum theory--than he did about relativity. A compelling blend of physics, biography, and the history of science, Einstein and the Quantum shares the untold story of how Einstein--not Max Planck or Niels Bohr--was the driving force behind early quantum theory. It paints a…


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

Art Hobson Author Of Tales of the Quantum: Understanding Physics' Most Fundamental Theory

From my list on quantum physics and how the universe works.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since my first college course in quantum physics, I have been fascinated with this enigmatic, infinitely interesting theory. It's our most fundamental description of the universe, it's been found to be unerringly accurate, yet it's quite subtle to interpret. Even more intriguingly, "nobody really understands quantum physics" (as Richard Feynman put it). For example, the theory's central concept, the wave function, is interpreted radically differently by different physicists. I have always yearned to grasp, at least to my own satisfaction, a comprehensive understanding of this theory. Since retirement 23 years ago, I have pursued this passion nearly full-time and found some answers, leading to several technical papers and a popular book.

Art's book list on quantum physics and how the universe works

Art Hobson Why did Art love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Quantum Dissidents: Rebuilding the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (1950-1990)

Nicolas Gisin Author Of Quantum Chance: Nonlocality, Teleportation and Other Quantum Marvels

From my list on nonlocality, teleportation, and other quantum marvels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am totally fascinated by the quest of how Nature does it. In particular, I love the fact that humans managed to enters the strange world of atoms and photons by just using their brute intellectual force and imagination. This world obeys precise rules, but very different ones from those we get used to since childhood. For example, the laws that govern the microscopic world allow for indeterminacy and randomness. Moreover, some random events may manifest themselves at several locations at once, leading to the phenomenon of quantum non-locality. I am very fortunate that I could spend all my professional time on such fascinating conceptual questions, combined with highly timely new technologies.

Nicolas' book list on nonlocality, teleportation, and other quantum marvels

Nicolas Gisin Why did Nicolas love this book?

This book tells the fascinating story of the people and events behind the turbulent changes in attitudes to quantum theory in the second half of the 20th century. Science is sometimes quite abstract. But it is made by very concrete persons whose characters shape the various scientific communities.

By Olival Freire Junior,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book tells the fascinating story of the people and events behind the turbulent changes in attitudes to quantum theory in the second half of the 20th century. The huge success of quantum mechanics as a predictive theory has been accompanied, from the very beginning, by doubts and controversy about its foundations and interpretation. This book looks in detail at how research on foundations evolved after WWII, when it was revived, until the mid 1990s, when most of this research merged into the technological promise of quantum information. It is the story of the quantum dissidents, the scientists who brought…


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

Art Hobson Author Of Tales of the Quantum: Understanding Physics' Most Fundamental Theory

From my list on quantum physics and how the universe works.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since my first college course in quantum physics, I have been fascinated with this enigmatic, infinitely interesting theory. It's our most fundamental description of the universe, it's been found to be unerringly accurate, yet it's quite subtle to interpret. Even more intriguingly, "nobody really understands quantum physics" (as Richard Feynman put it). For example, the theory's central concept, the wave function, is interpreted radically differently by different physicists. I have always yearned to grasp, at least to my own satisfaction, a comprehensive understanding of this theory. Since retirement 23 years ago, I have pursued this passion nearly full-time and found some answers, leading to several technical papers and a popular book.

Art's book list on quantum physics and how the universe works

Art Hobson Why did Art love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Lectures on Quantum Mechanics

Andrew Zangwill Author Of Modern Electrodynamics

From my list on titles for physics graduate students.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a physics professor with a passion for teaching. When I was a graduate student, I took required courses in classical mechanics, classical electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. Some of the textbooks assigned by my professors were good; some were not so good. In every case, it was extremely helpful to read what other authors had to say about these foundational subjects. Four of the five books I recommend below are my personal favorites among these serious physics books. My fifth book choice is less serious and does not teach physics, but it will improve your graduate student experience nonetheless.

Andrew's book list on titles for physics graduate students

Andrew Zangwill Why did Andrew love this book?

This book helped me pass my PhD qualifying exam. The writing style is crisp and qualitative arguments abound. Baym treats perturbation theory and scattering theory particularly nicely and your interest will never flag because he illustrates the formal theory with wonderfully chosen examples like K-meson interference effects, the Van der Waals interaction, Cooper pairing, spin resonance, multipole radiation, Klein’s paradox, and the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss experiment.  A special treat not found in other textbooks is a discussion of Julian Schwinger’s unique take on the quantum theory of angular momentum.

By Gordon Baym,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lectures on Quantum Mechanics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These lecture notes comprise a three-semester graduate course in quantum mechanics at the University of Illinois. There are a number of texts which present the basic topics very well; but since a fair quantity of the material discussed in my course was not available to the students in elementary quantum mechanics books, I was asked to prepare written notes. In retrospect these lecture notes seemed sufficiently interesting to warrant their publication in this format. The notes, presented here in slightly revised form, consitutute a self-contained course in quantum mechanics from first principles to elementary and relativistic one-particle mechanics. Prerequisite to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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