Books about physics, astrophysics and astronomy regarded as important classics

This post is mostly inspired (with some additions and modifications) from and answer I wrote at .

I will try to give a list of famous , influential books or classic books having a significant historical importance in the fields of physics , astrophysics and astronomy . It’s a somewhat extensive list but it’s not exhaustive.

Starting with Antiquity :

Then advancing to more recent times:

Al Sufi stars

Copernicus book

Below is a page from the Astronomia Nova (in 1609) showing the three models of planetary motion known in the seventeenth century (free image from Wikipedia) :

Astronomia Nova

Newton's Principia


Carnot reflexions

  • Recherches sur la théorie des quanta (Researches on the quantum theory) , and The Current Interpretation of Wave Mechanics: A Critical Study , by Louis de Broglie .
  • Collected papers , The interpretation of Quantum Mechanics , and Statistical Thermodynamics , by Erwin Schrödinger .
  • The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory , by Werner Heisenberg .
  • Books and papers by Paul Dirac , such as The Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Lectures on Quantum Field Theory .
  • Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity TheoryThe Internal Constitution of Stars , and The Nature of the Physical World , by Arthur Eddington .
  • Problems of Cosmology and Stellar Dynamics , An Introduction to the Kinetic Theory of Gases , and  The Growth of Physical Science , by James Hopwood Jeans .
  • The Theory of Sound , by John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh .
  • Problems of Atomic Dynamics , Atomic Physics , Principles of Optics , Experiment and Theory in Physics , and A General Kinetic Theory of Liquids , by Max Born .
  • Books and papers by David Bohm , such as Quantum Theory , Causality and Chance in Modern Physics , The Undivided Universe.

Some more recent well known , insightful and/or widely used books would include :

  • The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time , by Stephen Hawking and George F. R. Ellis .
  • Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics , by John Stewart Bell .
  • Classical-Mechanics , by Herbert Goldstein .
  • Classical Electrodynamics , by J.D. Jackson .
  • Galactic Dynamics , by Binney and Tremaine .
  • The Quantum Theory of Motion: an account of the de Broglie-Bohm Causal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics , by Peter Holland .
  • Photons and Atoms: Introduction to Quantum Electrodynamics , by Claude Cohen-Tannoudji , Gilbert Grynberg and Jacques Dupont-Roc .
  • Introduction to Elementary Particles , by D.J. Griffiths .
  • Condensed Matter Field Theory , by Alexander Altland .
  • The Standard Model and Beyond , by Paul Langacker .
  • The Road to Reality , by Roger Penrose .
  • Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law , by Peter Woit .
  • The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next , by Lee smolin .
  • Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth , by Jim Baggott .

Additional relevant links :……

Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world

Indian astronomy

Chinese astronomy


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