Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Science of Interstellar” as Want to Read:
The Science of Interstellar
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Science of Interstellar

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  4,506 ratings  ·  461 reviews
A journey through the otherworldly science behind Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film, Interstellar, from executive producer and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.

Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the physicist who assisted Nolan on the
Paperback, 1st, 336 pages
Published November 7th 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Science of Interstellar, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rodrigo Castilho I strongly recommend you take a look first at Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's a science educator and has made tha…moreI strongly recommend you take a look first at Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's a science educator and has made that book precisely for the understanding of the masses. It is easy to read, well written and has pretty much all of the content addressed in this book.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,506 ratings  ·  461 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Science of Interstellar
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Astonishing reading!


If you watched the film (that definitely I recommend to do before of reading this research book), you may wonder how they can explain some key details that it seemed to be kinda farfetched on the movie.

Since it does not matter how absurd it may be seemed some of the phenomena or technologies presented in the film, just think how the things were just 200 years ago...

...there were no telephones, televisions, cinema (where the
Riku Sayuj


The book discusses the movie, so it is only fair that I use most of the space to discuss the movie as well. I will discuss the book itself in one of the sections below. To get a better understanding, we can break our discussion it up into three overlapping sections --
The Three aspects of the movie that has to be examined to get at its core Premise:

1. The Future

2. The Science

3. The Dreams

Book Rating: 4/5 (Goodreads); Movie Rating: 9/10 (IMDB)

Caution: S

***5 stars***

To put it simply: this book was B R I L L I A N T.

If you've seen the movie Interstellar (and preferably liked it, too), then this book is for you.

Personally, I am a huge sci-fi fan and a space opera enthusiast. I live for stories about our great unknown universe, far away stars and planets and everything "astro-physicsy". Especially if they hold some truth and real, actual science in them.

When the movie Interstellar came out, I was intrigued with the science of it. Fast forward sev
Nov 12, 2014 marked it as not-to-read
We were lured by the advance hype into watching this extremely disappointing movie. Don't be fooled like we were: this is no 2001.

Yes, they have maybe got all the science right, but that's not the most important thing in what's supposed to be a piece of entertainment. The story is stiff, awkward and sometimes just plain embarrassing. The characters are uninteresting. Oh, how we missed HAL! The visuals are okay, but nothing special compared to Kubrick's astonishing cinematography. Above all, they
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Before the review: I know that there were plenty of aspects in the movie inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey. I know it, but I still cannot stand the "2001" movie. Watched it four times, each time was worse than the prior. There had never been another movie in my life which I found as boring as "2001" and the Soundtrack still makes me cringe. However, I loved Interstellar. Just saying.

The scientific insights into the movie are splendid. Not only are they accessibly written so that even a person w
Steve Walker
First things first. I loved the movie. Nice to see a thoughtful SF movie. I am amazed at the amount of ink, virtual and other otherwise, being spilled about "What is wrong with this movie" or "What is wrong with Chris Nolan". I am delighted that Prof. Kip Thorne was involved with this film. His book,"Black Holes and Time Warps" is one of the best "popular" science books available. If you have not read it,do so. if you have seen the movie and have not read it,do so.
No, "Interstellar" is not 2001.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it takes a book like this to remind us how cutting-edge and accurate Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar really was, author Kip S. Thorne (predictably) ignores what is perhaps the biggest idea of the movie.

This idea has also proved the most polarising, with a range of critics and viewers labelling Nolan as sentimental, goofy and on a New Age trip as a result. I am, of course, referring to Dr Amelia Brand’s Big Speech near the end (played with deadpan earnestness by Anne Hathaway):

Love isn’t s
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Considering the complexity of the topic, this was a surprisingly interesting and accessible read for a non-science geek like me. This book is part "behind the scenes of the making of Interstellar," part science textbook, and wholly enjoyable. Kip Thorne has a knack for making what could be very confusing concepts easily understood -- he truly has the soul of a teacher.

Reading this book made Interstellar even more interesting to me. Highly recommended for fans of Interstellar, or others simply i
Yash Sinojia
Interstellar is one my fav film & Christopher Nolan is my fav director I have seen all movies of him (except 'following' which I m gonna watch soon) besides him the work of 'double negative' the visual effect team of Paul Franklin made to Oscar & ofcourse the sources Kip Throne & Lynda Obst...

The Climax of the film 'The Tesserect' made me surprisingly awestrucked which happens to arise my interest in the book of the great scientist Kip Throne..

The chapters in the book are labeled as-
1) Truth
2) E
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Flying along the perils of a black hole

In a recent 2019 paper published in journal Nature, astronomers glimpsed the blackness of a black hole with an event horizon, the perilous edge against a backdrop of swirling light. This is the gate of hell and the end of spacetime. At a distance from the event horizon, the radio waves emitted by plasma of matter spiraling towards the black hole bends while orbiting the black hole. The resulting light ring is referred to as ‘photon ring’. This is very exci
Michelle Curie
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, nonfiction
Whether you enjoyed or disliked 2014's blockbuster Interstellar, it's not a film that's easily forgotten. I personally wasn't as hooked by it as I should have been, considering it was a carefully crafted intergalactic space journey set in an apocalyptic future made by a creative crew featuring a talented cast (all of which usually tends to be just my thing). What bugged me was the science. For somebody with an interest in the field of physics, I stumbled upon various maddening plot-holes that I ...more
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I had trouble following a lot of Thorne's explanations, particularly the subjects of 'brane' and 'bulk'. He doesnt clearly explain these concepts. He mentions that there may be 'membranes' and we exist in a 3-dimensional membrane or 'brane', and there are separate branes above and below us like a sandwich. Im not an astrophysicist so this concept completely flew over my mind, is this brane made out of dark matter like the rest of our universe? I understand these are heavy concepts based on decad ...more
G.R. Reader
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
I feel ashamed I ever had that brief fling with Kip, and I've written to him to say that it's officially never happened. He apologized and said he understood. At least these cutting-edge physicists are more understanding than usual about retroactive alterations to reality.
Alexander Draganov
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What to say... incredible book. I applaud the author for the effort to present complex science to ordinary readers like me. The universe is indeed stranger than we can even imagine.
Raviteja Vangara
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would have given 10 stars out of 5 for this book. Though I m reading this book late, this is one of the brilliant masterpieces I have read. Interstellar is one of my favorite movies as it is one of the very few movies that use Einstein's relativity laws and you digest them with the flow of the movie. Kip Thorne wrote this book as an introductory textbook to interstellar science. Higher dimensionality, the science of black holes and worm holes, tidal gravity, Gargantua simulations, bulk beings, ...more
Bogdan Teodorescu
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone interested in deiscovering the mysteries of our universe
This book was just amazing. Kip Thorne is talking about just EVERYTHING that happened in the record-braking and Oscar-winner movie. If you really want to understand exactly all the cool stuff that happened through the movie, just read this :))
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I was self-indulging.
Nelson Zagalo
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The physicist Kip Thorne is the scientific mind behind the science of "Interstellar", thus if you want to know anything related to the astrophysics discussed in the movie, this is the book to read. Thorne introduces us to the beginning of the idea, when the movie was still to be directed by Steven Spielberg, and then moves to discussing in detail all the science present in the movie.
Thorne does good a job in communicating complex concepts, however don't expect this book to be as easy as "Inters
Tarin Bansal
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This one is a must read if Interstellar made you least bit curious about a multi-dimensional universe. The book practically enhances the movie experience by delving into the depths of the scientific concepts used in the movie, which otherwise were not discussed in detail in the movie keeping in mind the diverse audience. If you really want to tear apart the science used in Interstellar and find flaws or inconsistencies, better refer to this honest scientific explanation written by the theoretica ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interstellar is one of my favorite movies so when I saw the book The Science of Interstellar at Barnes and Noble and noticed it was written by the great theoretical physicist Kip Thorne I bought it right away. Thorne was the science adviser and executive producer of Interstellar which was directed by Christopher Nolan and starred Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Casey Affleck, and Michael Caine. Chrisopher Nolan wrote the Forward to the book.

In Ki
Sara Morelli
Phenomenal. Mind-boggling but easily digestible even though I'm a total layman (but aficionado) when it comes to astrophysics. It covers every piece of science that is mentioned/hinted/unsaid in Interstellar, and well beyond that. Kip Thorne, producer-consultant-Nobel-prize-winner, is amazing at talking about difficult topics in a way that is easy to follow; I’ll surely check out other books from him.
Highly recommend it if you loved Interstellar and you’re curious about what actually went on beh
Samuel Maina
May 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Wow! I have to admit I read this after watching the movie because I wanted to understand all that lingo that was going on in the movie. I had a rough idea but Thorne has done a good job expounding on it through the book.

Amazing how many challenges the team had to go through in the making of the movie and you have to give it to them. A lot of physics is explained in the book and I can assure you most of it is Einsteinian.

For someone who was reading Issac Asimov and Robert Heinlein as a child....
I found this book engaging and interesting to read, both as an astrophysicist and a sci-fi fan. Also, my current field of study is more about stars and less about other areas such as galaxies, black holes or cosmology, so it was also a nice way to brush up a bit on those areas :)

From a feminist point of view, while there are a couple of phrases I found a bit cringy (for ex, referring to a female scientist as 'a beautiful redhead' - alongside Jessica Chastain-. while not referring to the physical
Kiril Kirilov
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’ve read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Gah, I’m smart.
I’ve read The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. So smart.
For the time reading ‘The Science of Interstellar’ by Kip S. Thorne I was feeling. Wut. I’m so dumb. I’m like… rudimentary simpleton. I’m like the main character of ‘Бахти големите ръки, чуек. Бахти туй аз ли съм? Уродска работа'.

So, I’m not so smart after all.

First, I’m a huge fan of the movie.

During the movie I was like: “There can not be a planet w
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring, sweet and downright fascinating, it took me to the stars in ways very few books ever have for me. I am not easily moved. I am generally quite cynical but there are moments where I felt transported from my earthly habitat and daily rigmorale and genuinely felt liberated from any constaints I would normally succomb to in my average, routine, conventional, bustling coffee shop, dreary bus riding, loud mouthed customers as I do my grocery shopping in my local human trough distribution cen ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating subject, black holes, etc., but I only understood about 25% of what I read. He gives good recommendations at the end for further reading.

Sort of a cool quote at the end:

"[C]ontrolling our own fate [...] requires that a large fraction of us understand and appreciate science: How it operates. What it teaches us about the universe, the Earth, and life. What it can achieve. What its limitations are, due to inadequate knowledge or technology. How those limitations may be overcome. How we
Manasvi mudgal
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-all-time-fav
Had this book been any less awe inspiring, had it contained any lesser ideas than it did, but still had Kip explained things with the simplicity he did, I'd have rated it five stars.

This book is not just a companion to a wonderful movie, the best of our generation (IMO), it is also a stepping stone towards a layman's understanding of the universe and the new ideas which are shaping our world. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the movie further, who wants to know the ideas and effo
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After I watched Interstellar I came away amazed and very happy. Then I heard about this book.

Considering the subject matter Kip Thorne has done a pretty good job in keeping the book readable for a mass audience. He provides a good amount of sources at the end of the book for anyone who wishes to learn more or who would like more details.

There were parts of this book where I sometimes had to read it two or three times, then put the book away for a while and think to fully understand what he was
This is a great resource for fans of the movie who want to know - as the title suggests - the science behind the story. It is much easier to get through than Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps but still not for the faint of heart, I think. One of my favorite aspects of the book was that Thorne labeled each section as Truth, Educated Guess, or Speculation, and through this the reader can gain a clearer picture as to how much of the movie is scientifically plausible (and it's a lot). And I love t ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great insight about ‘Interstellar’ and what it does right (and wrong), scientifically speaking.
There are a lot of concepts found on this book that really ask for an interactive approach; if this book were transformed into a tablet app, where people could fiddle around with black hole models and other structures, it would be perfect!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Interstellar
  • The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics (Theoretical Minimum #1)
  • Black Hole Survival Guide
  • Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory: The Theoretical Minimum
  • Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
  • Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game
  • Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You
  • Greenlights
  • The Grand Design
  • Parallel Worlds: A Journey through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
  • A First Course in General Relativity
  • Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe
  • Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time
  • Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays
  • Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction
  • Inception: The Shooting Script
  • Хребты безумия
  • A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
See similar books…
Kip Thorne is the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, an executive producer for Interstellar and author of The Science of Interstellar, and the author of books including the bestselling Black Holes and Time Warps Einstein's Outrageous Legacy. He lives in Pasadena, California. ...more

News & Interviews

Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house. As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that...
45 likes · 6 comments
“Everything likes to live where it will age the most slowly, and gravity pulls it there.” 7 likes
“An explosion in space makes no sound, as there is no air to transmit the sound waves.” 6 likes
More quotes…