Reading list

6 books for your inner science geek

From the future of artificial intelligence to the mind-bending nature of our reality, here are 6 books sure to satisfy the most curious of minds

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Life 3.0

Max Tegmark

We stand at the beginning of a new era. What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, and more than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionize our collective future.

In this vitally important new book, Max Tegmark takes us to the heart of thinking about AI and the human condition. Will AI help life flourish as never before, or will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, and even, perhaps, replace us altogether? Life 3.0 gives us the tools to join what may be the most important conversation of our time.

A compelling guide to the challenges and choices in our quest for a great future of life, intelligence and consciousness' — Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX 

 

Mysteries of the Quantum Universe

Thibault Damour and Mathieu Burniat

Bob and his dog Rick have been around the world and even to the Moon, but their travels through the quantum universe show them the greatest wonders they've ever seen. As they follow their tour guide, the giddy letter h, Bob and Rick discover that the universe is bouncy, have crepes with Max Planck, and hang out with Heisenberg on Heligoland.

A comic book that makes quantum physics fun, easy to understand and downright enchanting.

‘Tintin meets Brian Cox ... as scientifically accurate as it is beautiful’ — BBC Focus

 

Soonish 

Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith

What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why don't we have a lunar colony already?

In this witty and entertaining book, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith give us a snapshot of the transformative technologies that are coming next. From robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters, Soonish explains how technology will change our world in astonishing ways, as the authors weave together their own research, interviews with pioneering scientists and Zach's trademark comics.

‘Who knew science could be so much fun? And who knew fun could be so scientific?’ —Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist

 

Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory

Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman

In the first two books in his wildly popular The Theoretical Minimum series, world-class physicist Leonard Susskind provided a brilliant first course in classical and quantum mechanics. Now, Susskind and Art Friedman are back, this time to introduce readers to special relativity and classical field theory. At last, waves, forces and particles will be demystified.

Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory takes us on an enlightening journey through a world now governed by the laws of special relativity. Starting in their new watering hole, Hermann's Hideaway, with a lesson on relativity, Art and Lenny walk us through the complexities of Einstein's famous theory.

‘This is quantum mechanics for real. This is the good stuff, the most mysterious aspects of how reality works, set out with crystalline clarity.’ — Sean Carroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe

 

Universal

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Over the centuries, the human urge to discover has unlocked an incredible amount of knowledge. What it reveals to us is breathtaking.

Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration and, in doing so, reveals how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond.

‘Universal will help inspire those who share my fascination with our planets, the solar system and beyond’ — Buzz Aldrin

 

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Carlo Rovelli

Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture?

Scientist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. Taking us on a wondrous journey, in this mind-expanding book he invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, spacetime is made up of grains, and infinity does not exist.

‘For fans of cutting-edge physics made accessible’— Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

 

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