# 100 Best Mathematical Physics Books of All Time

We've researched and ranked the best mathematical physics books in the world, based on recommendations from world experts, sales data, and millions of reader ratings. Learn more

Richard BransonToday is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime. (Source)

Dan HooperEverybody knows Hawking’s greatest contributions: understanding that black holes radiate light and other particles, that they contain entropy and all these things that no one imagined before him. Hawking and Roger Penrose also worked out the Big Bang singularity, the very moment of creation. To hear him describe some of these things with his own word choices, his own phrasing—not to mention his... (Source)

Adam Hart-DavisWhen Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time..his publisher told him that every equation he left in would halve the number of readers (Source)

*Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman*, shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in this engagingly eccentric book. Fiercely independent (read the chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant of stupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (check out "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You Just Ask Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible to... more

Sergey BrinBrin told the Academy of Achievement: "Aside from making really big contributions in his own field, he was pretty broad-minded. I remember he had an excerpt where he was explaining how he really wanted to be a Leonardo [da Vinci], an artist and a scientist. I found that pretty inspiring. I think that leads to having a fulfilling life." (Source)

Larry PageGoogle co-founder has listed this book as one of his favorites. (Source)

Peter AttiaThe book I’ve recommended most. (Source)

**The international bestseller that inspired a major**

*Nova*special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue.Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

*The Elegant Universe*makes some of the most sophisticated... more

Mark KurlanskyI love this book. Brian Greene makes quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of relativity really make sense, so you can understand something which nobody seems to understand (Source)

Tom ClarkeThis book is perhaps the public debut of string theory – an attempt to explain how the best of the big and the small theories might be linked to explain the entire universe. (Source)

Steven GubserThe book works at many levels – I gave a copy to my mom when it came out, and I also received very positive impressions about the book from Norman Ramsey, who is a Nobel Prize physicist at Harvard. So it’s a great achievement, and part of why it’s a great achievement is that it covers not only string theory but also the accepted pillars of 20th-century theoretical physics, namely, quantum... (Source)

Richard BransonToday is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime. (Source)

Ante ShodaIt explains 14 billion years of the evolution of the universe, a sort of engineering experiment on the largest possible scale. It spans all scales of space and time, describing everything from the largest scales of the universe to the smallest scales of molecules and atoms. It’s a good book for putting everything in perspective. (Source)

*The Three-Body Problem*is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight... more

Barack ObamaAs a devoted reader, the president has been linked to a lengthy list of novels and poetry collections over the years — he admits he enjoys a thriller. (Source)

Mark ZuckerbergIt's a Chinese science fiction book that has gotten so popular there's now a Hollywood movie being made based on it. This will also be a fun break from all the economics and social science books I've read recently. (Source)

Adam SavageI felt like I was getting a Chinese version of Chinese culture. And that frame felt unique. (Source)

Steve Jurvetson[Steve Jurvetson recommended this book on the podcast "The Tim Ferriss Show".] (Source)

Seth GodinIn the last week, I discovered that at least two of my smart friends hadn't read Godel, Escher, Bach. They have now. You should too. (Source)

Kevin KellyOver the years, I kept finding myself returning to its insights, and each time I would arrive at them at a deeper level. (Source)

Roger D. PengThis book is written by a powerhouse of authors in the machine learning community, true authorities in the field. But beyond that, they’re also great writers. (Source)

**The legendary introduction to physics from the subject's greatest teacher**

"The whole thing was basically an experiment," Richard Feynman said late in his career, looking back on the origins of his lectures. The experiment turned out to be hugely successful, spawning a book that has remained a definitive introduction to physics for decades. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as general relativity and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight. Now, we are reintroducing the... more

Bill GatesYou don't have to take a course [to learn physics]. If you're hardcore, read the Feynman book and do the problems. (Source)

David BainbridgeI think that he is one of the most intelligent people to live in the 20th century. Yet at the same time, surprisingly, he is an amazingly good teacher. This is quite an unusual combination. (Source)

*Gravitation*is a landmark graduate-level textbook that presents Einstein's general theory of relativity and offers a rigorous, full-year course on the physics of gravitation. Upon publication,

*Science*called it "a pedagogic masterpiece," and it has since become a classic, considered essential reading for every serious student and researcher in the field of relativity. This authoritative text has shaped the research of generations of physicists and astronomers, and the book continues to influence the way experts think about the subject.

With an... more

Eric Weinstein[Eric Weinstein recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

Kirk Borne#Gravity is the only one of the four fundamental forces of #Physics that doesn’t (yet) have a quantum explanation — learn how our understanding of Gravity has evolved, from Newton’s great insight to Einstein’s: https://t.co/DZJz9OJ9Lv 👇See this gravitationally heavy 3-kg book👇 https://t.co/9whUOUJqxi (Source)

Seamus BlackleyA couple things saved me. One of them I found the other day, slipped into my all time favorite physics book. It was a simple note from my dad, still in it’s envelope. It said that he believed in me, and that things would work out. https://t.co/z48r12w6m6 (Source)

Jane McGonigalIt’s basically a book about games, but then it turns out it’s about the meaning of life. (Source)

Tom Critchlow@fkpxls Also it made me think of analogies to finite and infinite games. Have you read that book? If not you might enjoy it! (Source)

Kevin KellyGave me a mathematical framework for my own spirituality. (Source)

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

En este nuevo libro, Leonard Mlodinow... more

David SpiegelhalterThis is a general introduction to the history of probability and the way it comes into everyday life. It intersperses the historical development with modern applications, and looks at finance, sport, gambling, lotteries and coincidences. (Source)

Gabriel CoarnaLeonard Mlodinow's "The Drunkarkd's Walk" -more precisely, the section on the "Monty Hall" problem- totally changed how I look-at/think-about probabilities and choices in general; this has impacted almost every real-life choice I've made since I read this book. (Source)

**A contrarian argues that modern physicists' obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science.**

Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to... more

Barbara KiserThis is a firecracker of a book—a shot across the bows of theoretical physics. Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist working on quantum gravity and blogger, confronts failures in her field head-on. (Source)

Eric Weinstein[Eric Weinstein recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

*Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher*is a publishing first. This set couples a book containing the six easiest chapters from Richard P. Feynman's landmark work,

*Lectures on Physics*—specifically designed for the general, non-scientist reader—with the actual recordings of the late, great physicist delivering the lectures on which the chapters are based. Nobel Laureate Feynman gave these lectures just once, to a group of Caltech undergraduates in 1961 and 1962, and these newly released recordings allow you to experience one of the Twentieth... more

Kate Lee (St Paul's Girls' School)Feynman could write about difficult physics and teach it in a way that no one else could. He is widely regarded as one of the best physics teachers of all time. His discussions of Newtonian gravitation and how we came to it, phenomena like tides, and how you can measure the speed of light by observing Jupiter’s moons are described with such humour and clarity. He conveys the excitement of physics (Source)

Bill GatesYou don't have to take a course [to learn physics]. If you're hardcore, read the Feynman book and do the problems. (Source)

*The Road to Reality*carefully explores the movement of the smallest atomic particles and reaches into the vastness of intergalactic space. Here, Penrose examines the mathematical foundations of the physical universe, exposing the underlying beauty of physics and giving us one the most... more

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

**From the bestselling author of**

*The Theoretical Minimum*, a DIY introduction to the math and science of quantum mechanics.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 behavior of sub-atomic... more

Eric Weinstein[Eric Weinstein recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

Major changes in the new edition relate to Bose--Einstein condensation, the dynamics of the X-Y model and questions on phase transitions. Notes and remarks have been considerably augmented. less

Chapters 1 and 2 are devoted to the mathematics of classical physics.... more

**A concise, modern textbook on group theory written especially for physicists**

Although group theory is a mathematical subject, it is indispensable to many areas of modern theoretical physics, from atomic physics to condensed matter physics, particle physics to string theory. In particular, it is essential for an understanding of the fundamental forces. Yet until now, what has been missing is a modern, accessible, and self-contained textbook on the subject written especially for physicists.

*Group Theory in a Nutshell for Physicists*fills this gap, providing a... more

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

*Differentiable Manifolds*is intended for graduate students and researchers interested in a theoretical physics approach to the subject. Prerequisites include multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations and a basic knowledge of analytical mechanics. less

*[sic – ed.]*, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women-thin, straight lines-are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status.

Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of... more

Bryan Johnson[Bryan Johnson recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. more

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

**A funny, insightful, and self-contained guide to Einstein's relativity theory and classical field theories--including electromagnetism**

Physicist Leonard Susskind and data engineer Art Friedman are back. This time, they introduce readers to Einstein's special relativity and Maxwell's classical field theory. Using their typical brand of real math, enlightening drawings, and humor, Susskind and Friedman walk us through the complexities of waves, forces, and particles by exploring special relativity and electromagnetism. It's a must-read for both devotees of the series and any... more

*Riemannian Geometry*is an expanded edition of a highly acclaimed and successful textbook (originally published in Portuguese) for first-year graduate students in mathematics and physics. The author's treatment goes very directly to the basic language of Riemannian geometry and immediately presents some of its most fundamental theorems. It is elementary, assuming only a modest background from readers, making it suitable for a wide variety of students and course structures. Its selection of topics has been deemed "superb" by teachers who have used the text.

A significant... more

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

Sean M CarrollThis book discusses some of the deepest features of the laws of nature. (Source)

*Mathematical Physics*is an introduction to such basic mathematical structures as groups, vector spaces, topological spaces, measure spaces, and Hilbert space. Geroch uses category theory to emphasize both the interrelationships among different structures and the unity of mathematics. Perhaps the most valuable feature of the book is the illuminating intuitive discussion of the "whys" of proofs and of axioms and definitions. This book, based on Geroch's University of Chicago course, will be especially helpful to those working in theoretical physics, including such areas as relativity,... more

less

*The Mathematical Theory of Communication*, published originally as a paper on communication theory in the

*Bell System Technical Journal*more than fifty years ago. Republished in book form shortly thereafter, it has since gone through four hardcover and sixteen paperback printings. It is a revolutionary work, astounding in its foresight and contemporaneity. The University of Illinois Press is pleased and honored to issue this... more

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

*Physics Today.*1974 edition. less

This book represents the first in a series designed to assist students in the process of transitioning from coursework to research in particle physics. Rather than reading literally dozens of physics and mathematics texts, trying to assimilate the countless ideas, translate notations and perspectives, and see... more

less

"An excellent text ... The postulates of quantum mechanics and the mathematical underpinnings are discussed in a clear, succinct manner." (American Scientist)

"No matter how gently one introduces students to the concept of Dirac's bras and kets, many are turned off. Shankar attacks the problem head-on in the first chapter, and in a very informal style suggests that there is nothing to be frightened of." (Physics Bulletin)

Reviews of the Second Edition:

"This massive text of 700 and odd pages has indeed an excellent... more

Eric Weinstein[Eric Weinstein recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

One of the major problems, according to Smolin, is string theory: an ambitious attempt to formulate a “theory of everything” that explains all the particles and forces of nature and... more

James Owen WeatherallSmolin’s argument is that string theory is both puzzling and hugely problematic. (Source)

This revision will make this book mroe attractive as a textbook in functional analysis. Further refinement of coverage of physical topics will also reinforce its well-established use as a course book in mathemtical physics. less

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

Steven GubserAs a practitioner of the subject I am drawn to the serious accounts. The two volumes by Green, Schwarz and Witten are a wonderful early account of the subject. It was a subject that first fluoresced in the mid-80s. The notion of string theory was already present, even in the late 1960s, but only in 1984, with the work of Green and Schwarz, did people realise string theory could really be... (Source)

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

*American Scientist*as "a classic text on field theoretic methods in statistical physics," this comprehensive introduction to the many-body theory and its ramifications was written by three internationally known Russian physicists. It constitutes an invaluable guide to physicists, mathematicians, and others involved in statistical and solid state physics.

less

Steve JurvetsonA series of epiphanies from [the author] and others that the world is really interesting when you look at iterative algorithms applied millions and billions of times. (Source)

*Scientific American*, Martin Gardner devoted a column every six months or so to short math problems or puzzles. He was especially careful to present new and unfamiliar puzzles that had not been included in such classic collections as those by Sam Loyd and Henry Dudeney. Later, these puzzles were published in book collections, incorporating reader feedback on alternate solutions or interesting generalizations.

The present volume contains a rich selection of 70 of the best of these brain teasers, in some cases... more

"Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics" was a revolutionary book that caused a sea change in theoretical physics. Here, John von Neumann, one of the leading mathematicians of the twentieth century, shows that great insights in quantum physics can be obtained by exploring the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. He begins by presenting the theory of Hermitean operators and Hilbert spaces. These provide the framework for transformation theory, which von Neumann regards as the definitive form of quantum mechanics. Using this theory, he attacks with mathematical rigor some... more

**A**

*New York Times*Science BestsellerWhat if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren’t even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.

In

*Love and Math*, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we’ve never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows... more

The final sections on adiabatic invariants have been revised and augmented. In addition a short biography of L D Landau has been inserted.

less

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.

Dwight E. Neuenschwander's introduction to the theorem's genesis,... more

Chris AndersonI honestly think it was reading [this book] that finally gave me the courage, 18 years ago, to leave my company and take over leadership of TED. (Source)

Chris AndersonI honestly think it was reading [this book] that finally gave me the courage, 18 years ago, to leave my company and take over leadership of TED. (Source)

Chris AndersonI honestly think it was reading [this book] that finally gave me the courage, 18 years ago, to leave my company and take over leadership of TED. (Source)

Anne-Marie SlaughterLinked is about how to understand the world in terms of networks. To understand network science the first thing to do is to visualise the world the way you visualise the Internet or even the universe – hubs of infinitely intersecting networks. As the author says, everything can be reduced to links and nodes. This book is a very accessible introduction to the science of networks and to how to... (Source)

Bill BarhydtWritten before Facebook, this book predicts what the world will look like with amazing precision. (Source)

**Don't have time to read the top Mathematical Physics books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.**

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

- Being comprehensive: you learn the
**most important points in the book** - Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
- Interactive exercises:
**apply the book's ideas to your own life**with our educators' guidance.