Skip to main content


Art and science

Art and science

Book of the Year 2015

15 Dec 2015

It’s been another fine year for physics books, which makes it tough to pick just one as Physics World‘s Book of the Year 2015. Listen as we discuss a few of our favourites from the 10-strong shortlist and announce our choice of the year’s finest popular-physics book

Each year, Physics World reviews a shedload of great physics books, and in 2015 we’re taking that turn of phrase literally, teaming up with The Cosmic Shed podcast to record our “Book of the Year” announcement in – yes – a garden shed.

In this podcast, you will hear Physics World‘s editor Matin Durrani and reviews editor Margaret Harris being quizzed on some of their favourite shortlisted books by The Cosmic Shed‘s Andrew Glester, a Bristol-based science communicator who loves to debate “science fiction, science fact and everything in between” from the comfort of his garden shed. For the most part, this podcast sticks with science fact, but with several of 2015’s shortlisted books having decidedly cosmic overtones, you never know where the discussion might lead….

We hope you enjoy hearing about these books as much as we enjoyed reading and talking about them. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors!

Shortlist for Physics World‘s Book of the Year 2015 (alphabetical by author)

Life on the Edge: the Coming of Age of Quantum Biology Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden

Physics on Your Feet: Ninety Minutes of Shame but a PhD for the Rest of Your Life Dmitry Budker and Alexander Sushkov

Half-Life: the Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy Frank Close

Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: a Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing and the Beginning of Everything Amanda Gefter

Beyond: Our Future in Space Chris Impey

The Water Book: the Extraordinary Story of Our Most Ordinary Substance Alok Jha

Monsters: the Hindenburg Disaster and the Birth of Pathological Technology Ed Regis

Tunnel Visions: the Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne Kolb

The Copernicus Complex: the Quest for our Cosmic (In)Significance Caleb Scharf

Atoms Under the Floorboards: the Surprising Science Hidden in Your Home Chris Woodford

Copyright © 2021 by IOP Publishing Ltd and individual contributors