Science Communication Books

Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science
Paperback out in April 2013!
This book contains Jim Al-Khalili’s personal favourite puzzles and conundrums in science, all of which have famously been referred to as paradoxes, but which turn out not to be paradoxes at all when considered carefully and viewed from the right angle.

A true paradox is a statement that leads to a circular and self-contradictory argument, or one that describes a logically impossible situation. In resolving our paradoxes we will have to travel to the furthest reaches of the Universe and explore the very essence of space and time. Hold on tight.

Published on 12/04/2012

Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed
Quantum mechanics underpins modern science and provides us with a blueprint for reality itself. And yet it has been said that if you’re not shocked by it, you don’t understand it. But is quantum physics really so unknowable? Is reality really so strange? And just how can cats be half-alive and half-dead at the same time?

To understand this we travel back to the dawn of the twentieth century and witness the birth of quantum theory, which over the next one hundred years was to overthrow so many of our deeply held notions about the nature of our universe. Scientists and philosophers have been left grappling with its implications every since.

Published on 10/04/2003 | Paperback published on 25/10/2012 | Translated into 4 languages

Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science
In Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Jim Al-Khalili celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world.

For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. Surveying the golden age of Arabic science, Jim Al-Khalili reintroduces such figures as the Iraqi physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who practised the modern scientific method over half a century before Bacon; al-Khwarizmi, the greatest mathematician of the medieval world; and Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, a Persian polymath to rival Leonardo da Vinci.

Published on 30/09/2010 | Paperback published on 26/01/2012 | Translated into 12 languages

Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines
Bringing the material up to date, this second edition captures the new ideas and discoveries made in physics since the publication of the best-selling first edition. The book continues to make the ideas and theories of modern physics easily understood by anyone, from researchers to students to general science enthusiasts. Taking you on a journey through space and time, author Jim Al-Khalili covers some of the most fascinating topics in physics today, including black holes, space warp, the Big Bang, time travel, wormholes, and parallel universes.

In addition, Professor Al-Khalili helps you see how time traveling may not be so far-fetched after all.

Published 01/01/1999 | Second edition published on 12/01/2012 | Translated into 13 languages

Nucleus: A Trip Into the Heart of Matter
Intended for a general audience, this book unravels the scientific mysteries that surround the subject of the nucleus. Anyone with a passing interest in science will delight in this guide to the nuclear age. The authors, who include expert nuclear physicists and acclaimed science journalists, tell the story of the nucleus from the early experimental work of the quiet New Zealander Lord Rutherford to the huge atom-smashing machines of today and beyond. Nucleus is also the tale of the people behind the struggle to understand this fascinating subject more fully, and of how a vibrant research community uses the power of the nucleus to probe unanswered scientific questions while others seek to harness the nucleus as a tool of twenty-first-century medicine.

Published 03/12/2001 | Second edition published on 01/03/2012 | Translated into 6 languages

Here is a list of other books that I have contributed to:

  1. Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science, contributing author, Comma Press, June 2011.
  2. 30 Second Theories, contributing author, Fall River Press, 2009.
  3. Quantum Aspects of Life, contributing author, Imperial College Press, 2008.
  4. Foreword for ATOM, by Piers Bizony, 2007, book accompanying the BBC TV series.
  5. Lecture Notes in Physics: Nuclear Physics with Exotic Beams Volume III, Eds. J.S. Al-Khalili and E. Roeckl, Springer-Verlag, 2008, in press.
  6. Lecture Notes in Physics: Nuclear Physics with Exotic Beams Volume II, Eds. J.S. Al-Khalili and E. Roeckl, Springer-Verlag, 2005.
  7. Lecture Notes in Physics: Nuclear Physics with Exotic Beams Volume I, Eds. J.S. Al-Khalili and E. Roeckl, Springer-Verlag, 2004.
  8. Invisible Worlds, Piers Bizony and Jim Al-Khalili (consultant editor), Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2004
  9. Collins Encyclopaedia of the Universe, 20,000 word chapter on quantum mechanics as part of large general interest reference book on astronomy, Harper-Collins, 2001.
  10. Scattering, co-author, with Jeff Tostevin, of chapter 4 within topic 3.1 of multi-volume reference book edited by P. Sabatier and E.R. Pike, 2001.