The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
By Brian Greene
- Release Date: 2010-10-11
- Genre: Physics
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Brian Greene Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
A new edition of the New York Times bestseller—now a three-part Nova special: a fascinating and thought-provoking journey through the mysteries of space, time, and matter.
Now with a new preface (not in any other edition) that will review the enormous public reception of the relatively obscure string theory—made possible by this book and an increased number of adherents amongst physicists—The Elegant Universe "sets a standard that will be hard to beat" (New York Times Book Review). Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.
Today physicists and mathematicians throughout the world are feverishly working on one of the most ambitious theories ever proposed: superstring theory. String theory, as it is often called, is the key to the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Finally, the century-old antagonism between the large and the small-General Relativity and Quantum Theory-is resolved. String theory proclaims that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe, from the frantic dancing of subatomic quarks to the majestic swirling of heavenly galaxies, are reflections of one grand physical principle and manifestations of one single entity: microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Greene relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind twentieth-century physics' search for a theory of everything.
Through the masterful use of metaphor and analogy, The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated viscerally accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
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User reviews about this book
Greene's style makes understanding these concepts manageable even in the face of the incomprehensible. The book starts with a basic review before moving into the daunting concepts of string theory. In short, his work is elegant and informative.
The elegant universe
By Ciao ciao ...
Include the video
This is an awesome book except for one thing. Sell the Nova miniseries "The Elegant Universe" on iTunes. It would make the book complete.
Great overview of the cutting edge.
By Silent Scribe
The one thing Mr.Green does even better than shining some photons into some otherwise very dimly lit spaces is convey his own sense of wonder at these very same matters. A nice thing to see from a scientifically brilliant man. A reminder that such understanding does not dull our humanity but deepens it.
Admittedly this subject is more massive than a Black Hole but Mr. Green makes it as comprehensible as it could possible be. Even a dim witted git like myself comes away with a vague sense of the taste of the universal broth and for that I wish to offer a sincere thank you.
I know the hole just seems to get deeper the more we dig but the hole is not the point the digging is.
Great book Brian!
This is a very well written book and a good complement to his more recent "Fabric of the Cosmos". Aside from an uncanny knack for citing analogies that greatly simplify various complex issues making them crystal clear, Greene also is very good at summarizing the bottom line at the end of a topic such as in The Elegant Universe he recalls Einstein saying "The agent of gravity is the Fabric of the Cosmos" which very neatly synopsizes the warping of spacetime by gravity's impact whereas Newton only conjectured that there was some unknown agent behind the force of gravity.
Took me about 3 months to get through this book. It's really not something you can read straight thorough. It'll will make your head explode if you try. Lol. I sometimes had to take several days off from reading this book because my brain just could not handle or process anymore. I am glad I am finally done reading this book but know that I will have to read it a few more times before I can even grasp the basic concepts of M-theory.
Well written, but not for everyone
By Winglet Driver
Greene is a very good writer who can convey complex ideas with simple analogies. In this book he explains Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in about as understandable way as I've ever read (I'm not a scientist or mathematician). Unfortunately, String Theory is so mathematically complex that even Greene is left to merely give a very general description. In addition, there have been some advances since this book was published in 2003.
Having said that, this is a great book to start with if you are interested in what may become the standard for Physics. Greene admits that there is still a lot of work and it may turn out to be wrong, but I enjoyed the blend of science and the history of its development.