Matter, Motion, and the Nature of the Universe: Physics Books for Non-Scientists

Do you wonder what the world is made of? Curious about relativity and quantum mechanics? Wonder about the nature of time? You don’t have to be a scientist to learn about these topics. Check out these books.

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Known Universe by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson
An easy-to-understand physics book with humor and delightful comic illustrations. It entertains while it educates. This book talks about what we know and what we don’t yet know.

The Science of Can and Can’t: A Physicist’s Journey Through the Land of Counterfactuals by Chiara Marletto
A luminous guide to how the radical new science of counterfactuals can reveal that the scope of the universe is greater and more beautiful than we ever imagined.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli ( also Spanish translation)
This short book is a great introduction to contemporary concepts in physics. The author does a great job of distilling the ideas down to make a short read.


Reality Is Not What It Seems by Carlo Rovelli
Traces how the human image of the world has changed throughout history, demonstrating the evolution of the idea of reality while touching on subjects ranging from the Higgs boson to quantum gravity.


Now: The Physics of Time by Richard A. Muller
He begins by laying out a firm and remarkably clear explanation of the physics building blocks of his theory: relativity, entropy, entanglement, antimatter, and the Big Bang. With the stage then set, he reveals a startling way forward.


Through Two Doors at Once: The Elegant Experiment That Captures the Enigma of Our Quantum Reality by Anil Ananthaswamy
It’s the story of quantum mechanics told through the lens of the “double-slit” experiment, showing how light passing through two slits cut into a cardboard sheet first challenged our understanding of light and the nature of reality almost two hundred years ago–and continues to do so.

The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
Discusses recent discoveries in physics and cosmology to explore a range of multiverse proposals and examines how the knowledge that some aspects of reality may lie beyond human comprehension might affect scientific progress.

The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything by Michio Kaku
The epic story of the greatest quest in all of science–the holy grail of physics that would explain the creation of the universe–from renowned theoretical physicist and author of The Future of the Mind and The Future of Humanity