Ideally, I would prefer not a book on a specific topic (like QM) but a general survey, analogous to A History of Mathematics by Carl Boyer. If such a work does not exist, can someone suggest works (multiple volumes if need be) which can satisfy my curiosity about the history of physics? Thanks.
1$\begingroup$ Also, a similar question posted at hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/2380/… $\endgroup$– K7PEHJun 26, 2015 at 1:27
$\begingroup$ Take a hack at The Age of Wonder smile.amazon.com/Age-Wonder-Romantic-Generation-Discovery/dp/… $\endgroup$– Carl WitthoftFeb 12, 2020 at 14:02
The authoritative source is The Oxford Handbook of the History of Physics. From description:"Comprehensive coverage, treating all aspects of physics over a period of more than four hundred years... brings together cutting-edge writing by more than twenty leading authorities on the history of physics from the seventeenth century to the present day".
A popular "general" book getting good reviews is Cultural History of Physics by Simonyi. I have not read it personally, but it has Dyson's and Bogomolny's approval. Here is Bogomolny:"the coverage of the scientific developments in the West is undoubtedly comprehensive. After discussing philosophy of science and historiography, the author notes one of the first documented abstractions, to wit, an image of bison on cave walls, and ends with the Standard Model of quantum mechanics; mentions of quantum chromodynamics, Grand Unified Theory, and TOE - theory of everything... One characteristic of the book is abundance of diagrams that represent various ideas in compact, visual format".
Shorter general histories by von Laue and Slavin are available online.