Physics, Astronomy & Other Reading Resources

One of the key things in learning to distinguish between good and bad science is that one must learn the standards that have been achieved by good science.  This means one needs a good set of references containing GOOD science.

I've wanted a list of references, ranging from popular-level to advanced, of the science relevant to the topics discussed on this site.

Towards this goal, I've listed a number of the books from my collection, and will be adding more.  Most of my introductory texts are from the 70s & 80s and probably not even available today.  I have found some free introductory texts online that actually look pretty good for someone who wants to learn some real science.

Feel free to email me with recommendations and links to similar resources.

Motion Mountain: The Free Physics Textbook

Light & Matter
This site has a few physics texts geared for several levels of mathematical comprehension.  The text “Simple Nature” has programming exercises using Python

More Advanced Free Texts
A few relevant links from John Baez's site

Books on Science History
This is just the list of books on my shelves that I have read.  I've about as many still on my 'unread' list.

The Day We Found the Universe
Marcia Bartusiak    2010    0307276600        368pp

The Very First Light: The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe
Rev Updated edition    John Boslough & John Mather    2008  0465005292  384pp
The story of the cosmic microwave background radiation and the COBE mission.

The Golden Ratio : The Story of PHI, the World's Most Astonishing Number
Mario Livio    2003    0767908163        304pp

Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos   
Alan W. Hirshfeld    2001    0716737116    336pp

Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon Which Has Changed the Course of History
Duncan Steel    1999    0-7472-7385-5       

Galileo's daughter : a historical memoir of science, faith, and love
Dava Sobel    1999    0-14-02.8055-3        420pp

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Dava Sobel    1995    0-8027-1312-2        184pp

Home Is Where the Wind Blows: Chapters From a Cosmologist's Life
Fred Hoyle & Margaret Burbidge    1994    0-935702-27-X      443pp

Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
James Gleick    1992    0-679-40836-3        532pp

Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe
Dennis Overbye    1991    0060159642        438pp

Mathematics and It's History
John Stillwell, J. H. Ewing & F. W. Gehring    1989    0-387-96981-0   371pp

Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World
Abraham Pais    1986     0198519710    682pp

Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley
Albert Van Helden  1986  0226848825 212pp

The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
Richard Rhodes.
The Easton Press, collector’s edition edition, 1986, 2000.

Texts for Upper-level Backgrounds

The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology
Malcolm S. Longair    2006    0521474361        565pp

The Analysis of Starlight: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Astronomical Spectroscopy
J. B. Hearnshaw    1987      0521255481        546pp

History of Human Spaceflight

Rocket Team
Frederick Ira Ordway & Mitchell R. Sharpe    1979  0-690-01656-5  462pp

First on the Moon: A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.
Neil Armstrong|Michael Collins|Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.    1970
For All Mankind
illustrated edition    Harry Hurt    10/1988    0871131706    352pp

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