Books by John Gribbin

John Gribbin is the author of books including In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History, and Origins: Our Place in Hubble's Universe (published by Overlook). Trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University, he is currently Visiting

Released: Oct. 24, 2017

"There is no chance that the authors will knock Newton off his pedestal, but they present a well-documented argument that he owed more to the ideas of others than he admitted."
The story of Robert Hooke (1635-1703) and Edmond Halley (1656-1742) and an exploration of "how science might have developed if Isaac Newton had never lived." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Walter Isaacson goes deeper into his life and Dennis Overbye into his work, but readers will find this shorter biography entirely satisfactory."
A prolific British science writer examines the creation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Read full book review >
Released: March 8, 2016

"An exciting chronicle of a monumental scientific accomplishment by a scientist who participated in the measuring of the age of the universe."
Astrophysicist Gribbin (Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution, 2013, etc.) clearly explains how the accidental discovery of "the cosmic microwave background radiation" in the mid-1960s led to the assignment of a definitive date for the origin of the universe.Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 20, 2011

"Within most readers' lifetimes, astronomers will possess technology to detect water, oxygen and tolerable temperatures around extra-solar planets. Predictions of scientific discoveries have a poor success rate, so readers should keep their hopes up as they enjoy this thought-provoking history of the universe and the prerequisites of life."
The British astrophysicist and prolific science writer presents a skillful, contrarian examination of the possibility of intelligent life beyond Earth. Read full book review >
FLOWER HUNTERS by Mary Gribbin
Released: June 1, 2008

"Occasionally staid but erudite portraits of heroic botanists."
Sharp, vest-pocket sketches of a dozen intrepid plant collectors by the veteran popular-science team (Annus Mirabilis: 1905, Albert Einstein, and the Theory of Relativity, 2005, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: April 5, 2007

"Full of interesting detail and anecdotage, a warm and readable history of a key era in science."
How England's Royal Society was born from, and continued to foster, the groundbreaking innovations of scientists. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 23, 2005

"The authors' implication of a link between the quantum 'entanglement' of photons and Jung's Collective Unconscious is a bit of a stretch, but the buoyant prose and coherent, non-technical explanations will keep readers on board for the entire trip. (Nonfiction. 12+)"
Bobbing along in the wake of Roger Highfield's Science of Harry Potter (2002), this less-wide-ranging commentary uses select ideas and gadgets from Pullman's epic as springboards for discussions of Newtonian and quantum physics, dark matter, magnetism, multiple universes, chaos theory and a few other topics on science's frontiers. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

"A thoroughly readable survey of scientific history, spiced by a brilliant and memorable cast of characters."
Five hundred years of science and scientists, by astronomer turned prolific popular-science writer Gribbin (The Birth of Time, 2000, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2000

"Close attention is required, but the fascinating story Gribbin has to tell is worth the effort."
How old is the universe? The answer (and the story of how the answer was determined) is the subject of this demanding but not overwhelming account of astronomers at work. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"If you're going to own just one general science book, you'd do well to make it this one."
Gribbin, assisted by his occasional co-author Mary, tops himself with this one-volume summary of the current state of scientific knowledge. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 5, 1999

"A clear and comprehensive popular treatment of the cutting edge of physics."
Physics changes so rapidly that a new survey of its landmarks is necessary every few years; here's an update from a popular British science writer. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 12, 1998

"This is an example of science writing at its best: informative, witty, fun, and accessible, without sacrificing the complexities inherent in modem cosmology and particle physics."
Here is a collection of cosmological exotica, from the shrinking sun to the weighing of empty space, written masterfully by Gribbin (co-author, Fire on Earth, 1996, etc.), a noted English cosmologist and award-winning writer of popular science. Read full book review >
Released: July 21, 1997

"Flaws, yes, but still a fine diamond of a life, well polished by the Gribbin team."
Another Feynman biography? Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1996

"A well-written and comprehensive discussion of a sobering but inevitably fascinating subject."
Here is an able summary of the growing body of evidence that Earth has sustained a number of collisions with various large objects from space. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A solid and quite readable introduction to Darwin for the reader interested in his major contribution to our understanding of the world: the theory of evolution."
Two well-known science writers turn their hands to a can't- lose proposition: a biography of the most important scientist of the century in which science came of age. Read full book review >
Released: March 22, 1994

"But please, Einstein's life needs no apology!"
The same team that brought you Stephen Hawking: A life in Science has decided to defend Albert Einstein against assorted revisionist treatments. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 2, 1993

"As usual, Gribbin does a snappy reprise of the relevant theories and history before the whoosh and wow take over."
Not only is there another universe next door, but myriad others across the eons of time and space: That's one conclusion voiced here by this former Stephen Hawking student and popularizer of astronomy (Unveiling the Edge of Time, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"For these freethinking folk, this is a book that rejoices in paradoxes and delights in reporting that nothing bizarre—baby universes, bubble universes, universe-sized black holes, energy extraction and time travel through wormholes—is denied by the laws of physics."
The first half of this latest from prolific English science- writer Gribbin (Cosmic Coincidences, 1989, etc.) is a nice reprise of special and general relativity, complete with credit to some early scientists who thought about dark and dense matter centuries before black holes were named. Read full book review >
Released: June 5, 1992

"A fascinating story overall, with the added plus that White and Gribbin are able to translate Hawking's bestselling A Brief History of Time for those who bought the book but found it incomprehensible."
White (Director of Science Studies/d'Overbroeck's College, Oxford) and Gribbin (Cosmic Coincidences, 1989, etc.) have produced a definitive biography of arguably the best-known cosmologist in the world. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 30, 1992

"For the reader who might like to entertain this among other cosmological hypotheses, the setting out of one set of bizarre theories after another in a largely uncritical omnium-gatherum is more likely to engender skepticism than conviction."
English astrophysicist-cum-science writer Gribbin (co-author, Cosmic Coincidences, 1989, etc.) and mathematical physicist Davies (Univ. of Adelaide, Australia; The Cosmic Blueprint, 1988, etc.) have collectively produced a couple of dozen popular books on the nature of the universe, churning them out as regularly as clockwork. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 15, 1989

"A heady introduction to a complex subject."
Suddenly, anthropic cosmology—which speculates on the relationship between scientific law and human life—is all the rage. Read full book review >
SPACEWARPS by John Gribbin
Released: Nov. 11, 1983

"As a variation on Gribbin's and other recent popularizations, the book is fine—just remember you may have read it elsewhere already."
English astrophysicist Gribbin (Timewarps, White Holes, etc.) proves once again that he is a lucid and fluent expositor to lay readers. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 27, 1982

"Dense in spots—but an invigorating exercise overall."
Will the Greenhouse Effect offset the Milankovitch cooling Model? Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 27, 1982

"But the facts are difficult to track down amid the noise."
As Huxley was Darwin's "bulldog," so Gribbin and Cherfas have undertaken to bulldog the theories of Berkeley scientists Allan Wilson and Vincent Sarich—who've added a new twist to evolutionary studies by measuring the genetic distance between species. Read full book review >
FUTURE WORLDS by John Gribbin
Released: June 1, 1981

"So it's dull fare—likely to disappoint even steady Gribbin readers."
Humdrum futurology: science expositor Gribbin, in clear but rather hectoring tones, offers a personal interpretation of recent Science Policy Research Unit (Univ. of Sussex) computer models which attempt to show how we can overcome our current problems and usher in a global utopia. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1981

"Ultimately, then, a book that pleases for many things the author does well, but one to be tempered by dipping into other sources for other points of view."
Gribbin is a knowledgeable scientist (with a degree in astrophysics from Cambridge) and a competent expositor (with several popular books on astronomy behind him)—as well as ambitious and optimistic, as anyone attempting a one-volume history of man and the universe would have to be. Read full book review >
THE DEATH OF THE SUN by John Gribbin
Released: March 3, 1980

"Lively and discussable—by pros as well as armchair astronomers."
Gribbin, a glib expositor of things astronomical, dons his speculative robes to predict some cold turns for the earth and the sun in the coming decades. Read full book review >
TIMEWARPS by John Gribbin
Released: April 26, 1979

"Fun to read if you suspend reason easily."
Time, not as the river flowing or the unidirectional arrow, is the theme of astrophysicist Gribbin's heady ventures into other universes, other lives. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1979

"Subtle and sophisticated in flavor, Gribbin's account is to be commended not only for his emphasis on the astrophysics of climate (his field), but for his understanding of present political realities."
We can now say unequivocally that the warmest period of the present 'interglacial' is over. . . from here on we can expect a cooling off until within about 10,000 years the world will be in the grip of another full ice age." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1977

"An essay, 'Is Our Sun a Normal Star,' added as an appendix, is a little marvel of provocative suggestions, tease, and, yes, entertainment."
Will our galaxy turn into a quasar? Read full book review >