James Trefil

James Trefil ( born September 10, 1938) is an American theoretical physicist, known as non-fiction author.

Trefil studied at the University of Illinois ( BA ) and at Stanford University, where he received his master's degree and doctorate in 1966. He also holds a bachelor's and master's degree from Oxford University. He dealt first with quark model of elementary particle physics. As a post-doc, he worked at CERN, DESY, Laboratory of Nuclear Science at MIT, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory. He was a professor at the University of Virginia and is currently Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. He is best known as the author of over 40 popular science books on physics and the natural sciences. He also wrote a regular contributor to magazines Smithsonian and Astronomy, writes for many U.S. newspapers (such as USA Today, Washington Post) and annotated scientific topics on National Public Radio. He is also a scientific advisor to the PBS television.

He was a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow of the World Economic Forum, the American Association for the Advancement of Science ( which Westinghouse and Subaru Award he received ) and the American Physical Society. For his books he received the Andrew Gemant Award of the American Institute of Physics.

Trefil lives in Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC


  • Introduction to the Physics of Fluids and Solids. Pergamon Press 1975.

Popular science books:

  • Physics as a liberal art. New York 1978.
  • From Atoms to Quarks. In 1980.
  • Robert Rood: Are we alone in the universe? The possibility of extraterrestrial civilization. Birkhäuser, 1982, 2nd edition, 1987, Goldmann, 1988 ( Are we alone? )
  • At the moment of creation. Physics of the Big Bang. From the Planck time to the present. Birkhäuser, 1984.
  • Travel into the heart of the physical things - the adventure seeing. Birkhäuser, 1984 (The unexpected vista -a physicists view of nature. )
  • Physics at the refuge. rororo, 1994 ( Meditations at 10,000 Feet. , 1986).
  • Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Houghton Mifflin and, 1988.
  • Five reasons why it's the world can not give - Astrophysics of the dark matter. Rowohlt, 1990 ( The Dark Side of the Universe., 1989).
  • Robert Hazen: Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy. In 1991.
  • 1,001 Things Everyone Should Know About Science. In 1992.
  • With Harold Morowitz: The Facts of Life? In 1992.
  • A Scientist in the City. In 1994.
  • Robert Hazen: The Sciences: An Integrated Approach. In 1995.
  • The Edge of the Unknown. 1996, ISBN 0-395-72862-2.
  • Are we unique? Wiley, 1997.
  • Are We Unique: A Scientist Explores the Complexity of the Human Brain. In 1997.
  • Lauter reasons why the world is quite different. The mystery of the cosmos, the frontiers of knowledge. Droemer / Knaur, 1998
  • Secrets of the cosmos. The most spectacular images of the universe. Steiger, Munich 2000 ( Other Worlds: The Solar System and Beyond 1999).
  • The Laws of Nature., 2002.
  • (Ed.): The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology., 2002.
  • The Nature of Science: An AZ Guide to the Laws and Principles Governing Our Universe. 2003, ISBN 0-618-31938-7.
  • The moment of creation: the Big Bang physics from before the first millisecond to the present universe. 1983, dover, 2004.
  • Human Nature: A Blueprint for Managing the Earth - By People, For People? 2004, ISBN 0-8050-7248-9.
  • Robert Hazen: Physics matters: an introduction to conceptual physics. Wiley, 2004.