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Recording the <i>Physics World</i> Book of the Year podcast “><br class=The Physics World podcasters. Left to right: Margaret Harris, James Dacey and
Matin Durrani.

By Margaret Harris

’Tis the season of “Top 10” lists here at, and to kick off our commemorations of the year in physics, my colleagues James Dacey, Matin Durrani and I have recorded a special podcast on our choices for the 10 best popular-physics books of 2011. You can listen to the podcast here or by subscribing to our podcast service.

You’ll find a list of all 10 featured books below, along with links to their reviews on However, to find out which of them gets our vote for the 2011 Book of the Year – and why we thought all of them were worth including in the top 10 – you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

If your favourite didn’t make the shortlist, keep in mind that there were many other good physics books published this year – including several that featured in our previous podcast – and also some promising ones that we haven’t had a chance to review yet. Look out for them in 2012!

2011 Books of the Year – alphabetical by author

Engineering Animals Mark Denny and Alan McFadzean

Measure of the Earth: the Enlightenment Expedition that Reshaped the World Larrie Ferreiro

The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos Brian Greene

Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists and Cinema David Kirby

Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science Lawrence Krauss

Rising Force: the Magic of Magnetic Levitation James Livingston

Modernist Cuisine Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet

The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality Richard Panek

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout Lauren Redniss

Hindsight and Popular Astronomy Alan Whiting

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