Books for "Space Time and the Cosmos" FYS

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: The required textbook for the course is The Fabric of the Cosmos  


  • The Big Picture (A very thoughtful discussion about many big questions, a runner up for the required book for this course, but the focus is a bit different than I wanted.)
  • A Perfect Theory (A beautiful account of the development of General Relativity, its current successes and open questions. Also proud to say that the author was my first graduate student!)
  • The Whole Shebang (A wonderful account of modern cosmology by a prizewinning writer)
  • A Universe from Nothing (I have not read this, but colleague recommended it. Also, I know the author is a very talented communicator.)
  • Coming of Age in the Milky Way (More about the historical development of science. Beautifully captures the joy and sense of adventure I feel about doing science.)
  • One, Two, Three Infinity (A fun discussion of specific questions, especially links to mathematics.)
  • Quantum Legacies (A collection of essays on selected topics from the history of physics research over the last century.  It covers several important physics developments, and also the interconnection between physic and politics, especially national securty issues.  I like the very readable writing style, and the material is personally meaningful to me because I it offers interesting insights into the powerful forces that had shaped the world of physics research before I started college in 1975, and also since then as my career unfolded.
  • The Inflationary Universe (The subject of this book is a highly infuential theory that has shaped our understanding of the cosmos in recent decades.  It is a major part of my own research, and the author is one of the originators of the theory. I've not personally read this book systematically, but my impression is that it is an excellent treatment.)

Unfortunately I do not frequently read popular level books on my specialty. I would be glad to hear recommendations of books you especially like.