James Trefil

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James Stanley Trefil (born September 10, 1938) is an American physicist (Ph.D. in Physics at Stanford University in 1966) and author of nearly fifty books. Much of his published work focuses on science for the general audience. Dr. Trefil has previously served as Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia and he now teaches as Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. Among Trefil's books is Are We Unique?, an argument for human uniqueness in which he questions the comparisons between human intelligence and artificial intelligence. Trefil also regularly gives presentations to judges and public officials about the intersections between science and the law.


  • Introduction to the Physics of Fluids and Solids (1975)
  • From Atoms to Quarks (1980)
  • The Unexpected Vista: A Physicist's View of Nature (1983)
  • The Moment of Creation (1983)
  • A Scientist at the Seashore (1984)
  • Meditations at 10,000 Feet (1986)
  • The Dark Side of the Universe (1989)
  • Reading the Mind of God: In Search of the Principle of Universality (1989)
  • 1,001 Things Everyone Should Know About Science (1992)
  • A Scientist in the City (1994)
  • The Edge of the Unknown: 101 Things You Don't Know about Science and No One Else Does Either (1996) ISBN 0-395-72862-2
  • Are We Unique: A Scientist Explores the Complexity of the Human Brain (1997) ISBN 0-471-24946-7
  • Other Worlds: The Solar System and Beyond? (1999)
  • The Laws of Nature (2002)
  • The Nature of Science: An A-Z Guide to the Laws and Principles Governing Our Universe (2003) ISBN 0-618-31938-7
  • Human Nature: A Blueprint for Managing the Earth – By People, for People (2004) ISBN 0-8050-7248-9
  • Why Science? (2007)
  • Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond (2012)



  • The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (2002)



  1. ^ "New and Notable". Skeptical Inquirer. Center for Inquiry. 41 (4): 60. 2017.
  2. ^ "Gemant Award Bestowed on Trefil". Physics Today. 54 (3): 91–91. March 2001. Bibcode:2001PhT....54R..91.. doi:10.1063/1.1366074.
  3. ^ "American Institute of Physics announces awards for best science writing". phys.org. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.

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