Published by
Princeton University Press (March 2020)
Current material
Final PDF
Mathematics & Science


by Al-Khalili, Jim

Quantum physicist, New York Times bestselling author, and BBC host Jim Al-Khalili offers a fascinating and illuminating look at what physics reveals about the world

Shining a light on the most profound insights revealed by modern physics, Jim Al-Khalili invites us all to understand what this crucially important science tells us about the universe and the nature of reality itself.

Al-Khalili begins by introducing the fundamental concepts of space, time, energy, and matter, and then describes the three pillars of modern physics—quantum theory, relativity, and thermodynamics—showing how all three must come together if we are ever to have a full understanding of reality. Using wonderful examples and thought-provoking analogies, Al-Khalili illuminates the physics of the extreme cosmic and quantum scales, the speculative frontiers of the field, and the physics that underpins our everyday experiences and technologies, bringing the reader up to speed with the biggest ideas in physics in just a few sittings. Physics is revealed as an intrepid human quest for ever more foundational principles that accurately explain the natural world we see around us, an undertaking guided by core values such as honesty and doubt. The knowledge discovered by physics both empowers and humbles us, and still, physics continues to delve valiantly into the unknown.

Making even the most enigmatic scientific ideas accessible and captivating, this deeply insightful book illuminates why physics matters to everyone and calls one and all to share in the profound adventure of seeking truth in the world around us.

Jim Al-Khalili is professor of physics at the University of Surrey. He is one of Britain's best-known science communicators and has written numerous books, including Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed; The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance; and Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology. He is a fellow of the Royal Society.

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"So much science packed into such a tiny package! Jim Al-Khalili manages to give an accessible overview of an enormous amount of modern physics, without it ever feeling rushed. This book will be enjoyed by anyone who wants a glimpse of how modern physicists are thinking about some of the hardest problems in the universe." —Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime "Clearly written and inviting, even to readers who may not at first consider themselves scientific, The World According to Physics is a book that should be read and appreciated by many." —Jocelyn Bell Burnell, University of Oxford "A clear, simple, and fascinating account of what physics tells us about our universe, and—crucially—what evidence supports that view, from one of the most talented, inspiring, and informative popularizers of science. A triumph!" —Ian Stewart, author of Do Dice Play God? "This book presents a comprehensive account of modern physics, weaving together a tapestry of new and familiar topics. Al-Khalili has a distinctively light voice that comes across throughout and works incredibly well." —Pedro G. Ferreira, author of The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity "A good read. Al-Khalili gives a nice overview of the current state of play in fundamental physics and why understanding physics is important." —Jeff Forshaw, coauthor of Universal: A Journey through the Cosmos

Quote: Praise

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