- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd ed. edition (October 11, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 039333810X
- ISBN-13: 978-0393338102
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12.105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Paperback – 11 October 2010
|New from||Used from|
Amazon Global Store US
Sets a standard that will be hard to beat.--George Johnson
Compulsively readable. . . . Greene threatens to do for string theory what Stephen Hawking did for black holes.
As rewarding as it gets . . . a thrilling ride through a lovely landscape.
About the Author
Brian Greene received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar. He is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and lives in New York City.
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)||0%|
|4 star (0%)||0%|
|3 star (0%)||0%|
|2 star (0%)||0%|
|1 star (0%)||0%|
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As I read it the first time, I thought most of the theories felt like science fiction, and thus they had to be wrong (never mind that they were developed by the most brilliant human beings in history)... I could not relate any of what I was reading to my daily life and I fwlt that what I was being asked to believe was too much.... not on the second pass: that time I used much more imagination and allowed “science fiction” to be real. That changed everything for me and the second time I was able to really see the universe as this place where “unbelievable” things can happen.
The hardest part for me about this book is the inability to visualize more than 3 spatial dimensions (probably many feel this same way), despite the authors emphasis on trying to extrapolate his examples to lower dimensions where visualization is common place.
My only complaint is that the book was written in the 90s and i am sure that there has been plenty proved and disproved about what is discussed in the book and so my only real want would be that they had a modere updated edition which clarifies where some of the mysteries (at the time) have been cleared
I like the way the book is organized. Before Greene goes deep into string theory, he has chapters on special relativity, general relativity, quantum mechanics, and on the difficulty reconciling the last two of these with each other. This sets the stage for string theory, a theory which enables the merging of general relativity and quantum mechanics. The middle of the book then presents the main framework of string theory, leaving the final chapters to delve into its connection to M-Theory, black holes, and cosmology. Greene describes difficult concepts without diving into mathematics -- mostly successfully, though I was left baffled on a couple of occasions -- leaving it to the chapter notes to hint at the mathematical details. (I note that I have a mathematics degree, but it doesn't encompass the math of string theory.)
I love the quest to find the ultimate underpinnings of the universe, a quest that has some of the same flavor as fundamental philosophical questions. The possibilities that the book raises are fascinating: that the fundamental ingredients of the universe may not be elementary particles, but rather vibrating strings or branes; that the universe may not have begun in a pure big bang singularity, but in a tiny Planck-size nugget of strings; that the familiar four space/time dimensions may be outnumbered by additional dimensions curled up in strange Calabi-Yau shapes. Highly recommended.
About my reviews: I try to review every book I read, including those that I don't end up enjoying. The reviews are not scholarly, but just indicate my reaction as a reader, reading being my addiction. I am miserly with 5-star reviews; 4 stars means I liked a book very much; 3 stars means I liked it; 2 stars means I didn't like it (though often the 2-star books are very popular with other readers and/or are by authors whose other work I've loved).