The birth of our universe An introduction to cosmology and quantum theory

Reading list

Was the Big Bang really the origin of our universe? Do space and time have a beginning and an end point? Both old myths and recent concepts, such as string theory, challenge our current understanding of the universe. Leader of the ERC Research Group in Theoretical Cosmology Jean-Luc Lehners tackles these questions during a lecture at the National Library on 23 February 2023.

Below you will find a reading list compiled by Lehners, which introduces you to the subjects of cosmology and quantum theory. The selection of titles covers classic must-reads as well as newer publications, thus not only providing you with a solid base of fundamental knowledge, but also inviting you to think beyond what we know so far.

Cosmology (Edward Harrison)

Available at the library

While this is a slightly older book on cosmology, Harrison provides thoughtful, in-depth discussions of the main questions people have asked about the universe. It is a rigorous, often philosophical, and far-reaching read.

Eine kurze Geschichte der Zeit (Stephen Hawking)

In der Bibliothek verfügbar (Deutsch) - Available at the library (English)

Hier handelt es sich um einen Klassiker unter den populärwissenschaftlichen Physikbüchern. Ein anspruchsvolles Buch das eher für erfahrene Leser geeignet ist.

Kurze Antworten auf grosse Fragen (Stephen Hawking, John Murray)

Im Bicherbus verfügbar

Dies ist eine aktualisierte und viel leichter zugängliche Version von Hawking's Klassiker. Das Buch ist vor allem interessant für Leser ohne umfangreiches Vorwissen und die sich nur einen Einblick in die Thematik verschaffen möchten.

QED, the strange theory of light and matter (Richard Feynman)

Available at the library

Feynman, who is considered to be one of the best physicists of the 20th century, provides an explanation of the main concepts of quantum theory. He assumes no prior knowledge of quantum physics from his readers, but does expect a good dose of open-mindedness.

Hyperspace (Michio Kaku)

Available at the library

Kaku's 'Hyperspace' is an inspiring book, which explores the possibilities offered by the existence of additional spatial dimensions. It is definitely worth a read!

The elegant universe (Brian Greene)

Available at the library

A popular exposition of string theory, our best attempt to date at a theory unifying general relativity and quantum theory.

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