The Hundred Most Important Science Books
of the Second Millennium

20th Century:

1999 CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 80th Edition (for its extensive summary of physics and chemistry)

1999 The Bible According to Einstein (for its comprehensive presentation of current scientific knowledge for the lay person)

1988 A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking (for its presentation of cosmology and astrophysics for the lay person)

1985 QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard P. Feynman (for the author's contribution to the quantum theory of electromagnetism)

1982 Subtle is the Lord by Abraham Pais (as a tribute to Albert Einstein)

1980 The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould (as a tribute to the author for presenting paleontology to the lay person)

1978 On Human Nature by Edward O. Wilson (for its popularization of sociobiology)

1977 The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan (for presenting science to the general public)

1968 The Double Helix by James Dewey Watson (as a tribute to the author for his contribution to microbiology)

1965 The Feynman Lectures on Physics (as a tribute to the author and his service as an educator)

1953-1979 The Collected Works of C.G. Jung (for their contribution to psychology)

1947 One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science by George Gamow (for its popularization of science)

1939 The Nature of the Chemical Bond by Linus Carl Pauling (for its contribution to chemistry)

1937 Madame Curie by Ève Curie (as a tribute to the woman who won the Nobel prize twice)

1937 La physique nouvelle et les quanta (The New Physics and Quanta) by Louis de Broglie (for its contribution to quantum mechanics)

1937 Genetics and the Origin of Species by Theodosius Dobzhansky (for its contribution to genetics and evolution)

1936 The Realm of the Nebulae by Edwin Powell Hubble (for its contribution to astronomy)

1933 The Expanding Universe by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (for its presentation of astrophysics to the lay person)

19321933 Introduction to Theoretical Physics by Max Planck (as a tribute to the author for his contributions to physics)

1932 The Causes of Evolution by J.B.S. Haldane (for its contribution to genetics and evolution)

1930 The Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Paul Dirac (for its contribution to quantum mechanics)

1929 The Universe Around Us by Sir James Jeans (for its popularization of cosmology)

1928 Principien der Quantentheorie (Principles of the Quantum Theory) by Werner Karl Heisenberg (for its contribution to quantum mechanics)

1927 Abhandlungen zur Wellenmechanik (Collected Papers on Wave Mechanics) by Erwin Schrodinger (for their contribution to quantum mechanics)

1922 Theory of Spectra and Atomic Constitution by Niels Bohr (for its contribution to quantum mechanics)

1922 The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein (for popularizing relativity)

1915 Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane (The Origin of Continents and Oceans) by Alfred Wegener (for its contribution to geology)

1910 Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse (A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis) by Sigmund Freud (for its contribution to psychoanalysis)

1904 Radio-activity by Ernest Rutherford (for its contribution to nuclear physics)

1900 Die Traumdeutung (The Interpretation of Dreams) by Sigmund Freud (for its contribution to psychoanalysis)

19th Century:

1899 Principles of Mechanics by Heinrich R. Hertz (for its contribution to mechanics)

1893 Electric Waves by Heinrich R. Hertz (for its contribution to electromagnetic waves)

1892-1899 Les méthods nouvelle de la méchanique celeste (New Methods for Celestial Mechanics) by Henri Poincare (for its contribution to classical mechanics)

1890 The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (for Maxwell's contribution to physics)

1885-1909 Das Antlitz der Erde (The Face of Earth) by Eduard Suess (for its contribution to geology)

1884-1887 The Scientific Papers of James Prescott Joule (for Joule's contribution to physics)

1882-1911 Mathematical and Physical Papers by Baron William Thomson Kelvin (for Kelvin's contribution to physics)

1876-1894 Vorlesungen über mathematische Physik (Lectures on Mathematical Physics) by Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (for its contribution to physics)

1873 Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism by James Clerk Maxwell (for its contribution to electromagnetism)

1871 The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin (for its contribution to the theory of evolution)

1868-1870 The Principles of Chemistry by Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev (for its contribution to chemistry)

1868 Lehrbuch der Botanik (Textbook of Botany) by Julius von Sachs (for its contribution to botany)

1867 Handbuch der physiologischen optik (Handbook of Physiological Optics) by Hermann von Helmholtz (for its contribution to biophysics)

1866 Versuche über Pflanzenhybriden (Experiments in Plant Hybridization) by Gregor Johann Mendel (for its contribution to genetics)

1863 Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man by Sir Charles Lyell (for its contribution to evolution)

1863 Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature by Thomas Henry Huxley (for its contribution to evolution)

1859 On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin (for its contribution to the theory of evolution)

1859 Experimental Researches in Chemistry and Physics by Michael Faraday (for its contributions to physics and chemistry)

1845-1862 Kosmos (Cosmos) by Alexander von Humboldt (for its contribution to natural science)

1839-1855 Experimental Researches in Electricity by Michael Faraday (for Faraday's contributions to electromagnetism)

1839 Mikroskopische untersuchungen über die übereinstimmung in der struktur und dem wachstume der tiere und pflanzen (Microscopic Researches into Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Animals and Plants) by Theodor Schwann (for its contribution to biology)

18331846 Lectures on Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of the Vertebrate Animals by Sir Richard Owen (for its contribution to paleontology)

18301833 Principles of Geology by Sir Charles Lyell (for its contribution to geology)

1824 Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu (Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire) by Sadi Nicolas Léonard Carnot (for its contribution to thermodynamics)

1822 Recueil d'observations électro-dynamiques (Memoir on the Mathematical Theory of Electrodynamic Phenomena) by André Marie Ampère (for its contribution to electromagnetism)

1817 Le Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation (The Animal Kingdom, Distributed According to Its Organization) by Georges Cuvier (for its contribution to paleontology)

18151822 Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres (Natural History of Invertebrate Animals) by Jean-Baptiste de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (for its contribution to paleontology)

1811 Traité de mécanique (Treatise on Mechanics) by Siméon Denis Poisson (for its contribution to classical mechanics)

1810 Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen by Robert Brown (contribution to botany)

1809 Philosophie zoologique (Zoological Philosophy) by Jean-Baptiste de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (for its contribution to paleontology)

1808-1827 A New System of Chemical Philosophy by John Dalton (for its contributions to chemistry and atomic theory)

1802 Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth by John Playfair (for its clarification of Hutton's work on geology)

18011805 Leçons d'anatomie comparée (Lessons on Comparative Anatomy) by Georges Cuvier (for its contribution to natural history)

1801 Système des animaux sans vertèbres, ou table général des classes (System of Invertebrate Animals, or General Table of Classes) by Jean-Baptiste de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (for its contribution to evolution and paleontology)

18th Century:

1799-1825 Traité de mécanique céleste (Celestial Mechanics) by Marquis Pierre Simon de Laplace (for its contribution to solar system astronomy)

1795 Theory of the Earth by James Hutton (for its contribution to geology)

1794-1976 Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life by Robert Waring Darwin (for its contribution to evolution)

1793 Meteorological Observations and Essays by John Dalton (for its contribution to physics and chemistry)

1789 Traité élémentaire de chimie (Elementary Treatise on Chemistry) by Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (for its contribution to chemistry)

1788 Mecanique analytique (Analytical Mechanics) by Joseph Louis Lagrange (for its contribution to classical mechanics)

1777 Abhandlung von der Luft und dem Feuer (Chemical Observations and Experiments on Air and Fire) by Carl Wilhelm Scheele (for its contribution to chemistry)

1774-1786 Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air by Joseph Priestley (for its contribution to chemistry)

1753 Species Plantarum by Carolus Linnaeus (for its contribution to taxonomy)

1751 Experiments and Observations on Electricity by Benjamin Franklin (for its contribution to the understanding of electricity)

1738 Hydrodynamica (Hydrodynamics) by Daniel Bernoulli (for its contribution to fluid dynamics)

1736-1737 Mechanica (Mechanics) by Leonhard Euler (for its contribution to classical mechanics)

1735-1758 Systema Naturae by Carolus Linnaeus (for its contribution to taxonomy)

1705 A Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets by Edmond Halley (for its contribution to the solar system)

1704 Opticks (Optics) by Isaac Newton (for its contribution to the understanding of light)

17th Century:

1687 Philosohiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) by Isaac Newton (for its contribution to classical mechanics)

1682 Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus (On the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals) by William Harvey (for its contribution to biology)

1678-1690 Traité de la Lumière (Treatise on Light) by Christiaan Huygens (for its contribution to optics)

1673 Horologium Oscillatorium by Christiaan Huygens (for its contribution to mechanics)

1665 Micrographia by Robert Hooke (for its contribution to microbiology)

1661 The Sceptical Chymist by Robert Boyle (for its contribution to chemistry)

1638 Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences by Galileo Galilei (for its contributions to physics)

1632 Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, tolemaico e copernicano (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic & Copernican) by Galileo Galilei (for popularizing the truths about the solar system)

1620 Novum Organum (also known as Instauratio Magna) (The New Tool) by Francis Bacon (for its contribution to the scientific method)

1619 Concerning the Harmonies of the World by Johannes Kepler (for its contributions to solar system astronomy)

1610 Sidereus Nuncius (The Starry Messenger) by Galileo Galilei (for its contributions to the understanding of the solar system)

1609 Astronomia Nova by Johannes Kepler (for its contributions to solar system astronomy)

1602 Astronomiae Instauratae Progymnasmata (Exercises Toward a Restored Astronomy) by Tycho Brahe (for its contributions to astronomy)

1600 De Magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus et de Magno Magnete Tellure (On the Magnet, Magnetic Bodies, and the Great Magnet of the Earth) by William Gilbert (for its contribution to magnetism)

Pre 17th Century:

1598 Astronomiae instauratae mechanica by Tycho Brahe (for its contributions to experimental astronomy)

1543 De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri vi (Six Books Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs) by Nicolaus Copernicus (for its contributions to solar system astronomy)

1543 De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (also known as Fabrica) (On the Structure of the Human Body) by Andreas Vesalius (for its contribution to biology)

1482-1519 Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci (for their contribution to science)

13th Century De luce (On light) by Robert Grosseteste (for its contribution to the understanding of light)

1269 Epistola Petri Peregrini de Maricourt ad Sygerum de Foucaucourt, militem, de magnete (Letter on the Magnet of Peter Peregrinus of Maricourt to Sygerus of Foucaucourt, Soldier) by Petrus Peregrinus (for its contribution to magnetism)

1268(?) Communia naturalium (General Principles of Natural Philosophy) by Roger Bacon (for its contribution to science)