Space is one of the most fundamental concepts over which scientific knowledge has been constructed. But it is also true that space concepts extrapolate by far the scientific domain, and permeate many other branches of human knowledge. Those are fascinating aspects that could di per se justify the compilation of a long bibliography. Another one is the passion for books.
My interest in some physical, historical and philosophical problems concerning the concept of space in Physics, and its properties, can be traced back to the early 1980. Since that time, I have being studying, with several collaborators, the influence of space dimensionality in different physical phenomena, like the Casimir Effect, neutron diffraction, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation and the stability of Schrödinger’s and Dirac’s hydrogen atom in arbitrary number of dimensions, as well as epistemological aspects of the works of Kant, Ehrenfest an others on this particular subject. Meanwhile, I gave lectures about the History of the Concepts of Space in Physics at the Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas (CBPF), at the Program of History of Sciences, Technics and Epistemology of the Federal University of Rio the Janeiro (UFRJ) and also at the Physics Institute of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). As a consequence of both this interest and my love for books, I continuously bought books on space for my personal library which contains now quite one half of all the books quoted here.
In 1996, Roberto Moreira and I published the Sources for the History of Space concepts in Physics: From 1845 to 1995 in the series Notas de Física of the CBPF (NF # 084/96), which is still available online. This was a first initiative to share our bibliography on space. At that time, it contained 1075 references, including 414 books entirely devoted to space, 380 articles in periodical journals and proceedings and 281 miscellaneous citations.
After fifteen years, I decided to focus my attention here to collect what in my opinion are the 601 essential books which could be useful for anyone interested on learning about space. An important restriction is imposed here by language: only texts written in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin were considered.
References are given in chronological order covering the period between 1739 and 2010. For each year, the books are listed in alphabetical order of authors’ name.
An onomastic index is included at the end of the book.
Rio de Janeiro, October 2011