AST 309N

Reading Assignments




Review Sheets

Supplemental Texts


Extra Credit






Unveiling the Edge of Time: Black Holes, White Holes, Wormholes
(Crown, 1992) - John Gribbon
Discussion of the worm hole time machine developments of Thorne and Novikov by well-known popularizer of science.

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy
(Norton, 1994) - Kip Thorne
Treatise on the curved space and time of Einstein by one of the preeminent researchers on the topic. Thorne provided the outlines for the "worm hole" featured in Carl Sagan's Contact and tells the story of the research into time machines that flowed from the fictional beginning.

Dreams of a Final Theory
(Vintage, 1994) - Steven Weinberg
Discussion of grand unification and the "theory of everything" by UT Nobel Prize winner. This book was selected to be one of the 100 best popular science books of the 20th century by a recent millenial poll.

The God Particle
(Delta, 1994) - Leon Lederman
Dicussion of the particle that gives mass mass by Nobel Prize winner and ex-director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension
(Anchor, 1995) - Michio Kaku
Early discussion of the hyperspace revolution.

Before the Beginning, Our Universe and Others
(Addison Wesley, 1997) - Martin Rees
Discussion of other universes that might arise in black holes and be connected through Big Bangs by the Astronomer Royal of Great Britain.

The River of Time
(Cambridge, 1998) - Igor Novikov
One of the giants of Russian astrophysics gives his view of his and Thorne's work on worm holes and time machines.

The Elegant Universe
(Vintage, Random House, 1999) - Brian Greene
Pulitzer prize-winning book on string theory and "extra" dimensions.

The Hole in the Universe
(Harcourt, 2001) - K.C. Cole
Discussion of the physics of the vacuum by the science reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

The Biggest Bangs: The Mystery of Gamma-ray Bursts, the Most Violent Explosions in the Universe
(Oxford, 2002) - Jonathan Katz
Historical summary by one of the long-time active theorists in the field.

The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos
(Princeton University Press, 2002) - Robert Kirshner
A personal report by one of the insiders on the use of supernovae to discover the accelerating Universe.

The Universe in a Nutshell
(Bantam, 2002) - Steven Hawking
Latest popular contribution by the famous Star Trek actor.

The Fabric of the Cosmos
(Knopf, 2004) - Brian Greene
Follow-on to successful Elegant Universe.

Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond
(Penguin, 2005) - Lawrence Krauss
Interplay of culture and science of higher dimensions.

Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
(Ecco, HarperCollins, 2005) - Lisa Randall
Amazing developments in the concepts of "large" extra dimensions by the woman who discovered the mathematical possibility.

The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design
(Back Bay Books, Little Brown, 2005) - Leonard Susskind
Popular treatment of the frontiers of thinking of physics, string theory, and cosmology by one of the pioneers of string theory and still one of the deepest thinkers in physics.