The Elegant Universe
Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
By (author) Brian Greene
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Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
Book DescriptionIn a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, 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 all matter is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. Greene uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to explain the beautiful yet bizarre realities that modern physics is unveiling. Dazzling in its brilliance, unprecedented in its ability to both illuminate and entertain, The Elegant Universe is a tour de force of scientific writing - a delightful, lucid voyage through modern physics that brings us closer to understanding how the universe works.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099289920
(198mm x 129mm x 32mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 29-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Brian Greene
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Hidden Reality, Paperback (February 2012)» View all books by Brian Greene
Explores our scientific understanding of the universe, the 'string theory' that might hold the key to unifying nature's laws, and our continuing quest to know more. This book shows, ours may be just one universe among many, like endless reflections in a mirror.
UK Kirkus Review » Brian Greene's exhilarating book is yet another in the series of totally accessible volumes written by physicists for the non-specialist reader. The blend of acute scientific insight and well-written prose is highly seductive, as Greene deals with the layers of mystery surrounding 'string theory', in which the universe consists of 11 dimensions, and the fabric of space tears and repairs itself. All matter (from the smallest quarks to the most imposing supernovas) is generated by vibrations of microscopic loops of energy. The string theory has been hailed as a Theory of Everything, with its potential to unify all the forces of nature. Greene's use of simile is particularly apposite, with everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose used to explain the strange and beautiful realities revealed by modern physics. Many will find Greene's lengthy but readable book the most popular addition yet to the library of popular science. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » Superstring theory may provide the long-sought unification of physics for which Einstein sought in vain. Here is a look at the current state of the quest. Greene (a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia and Cornell) begins by pointing out the central problem of modern physics. Quantum mechanics and general relativity both work perfectly, and they cannot both be right. Relativity works for large, massive objects; quantum theory for tiny ones. Normally, the two realms can be kept separate. Yet increasingly, physics deals with phenomena such as black holes, where the conflicts are impossible to avoid. Out of the search for a more complete explanation came string theory. Its foundations were laid down some 30 years ago by Gabriele Venizano, who found that a two-century-old formula by Leonard Euler described subatomic particles more elegantly than existing theory. The relationships would make sense if elementary particles were not pointlike, but elongated and vibrating, like tiny musical strings - in one sense, a modern version of the ancient metaphor of the music of the spheres. It took a while for physicists to embrace string theory; for one thing, it seemed to predict things nobody had ever seen. And despite its formidable explanatory power, its mathematical expressions were often even more formidable - Greene describes some of the equations as nearly impossible to understand, let alone solve. Still, it has the right look about it, and two waves of enthusiasm (one in the mid-1980s, the other ten years later) have convinced many physicists of the theory's probable validity. Greene deftly summarizes these findings, in areas from subatomic-particle theory to cosmology, with occasional forays into deeper waters such as the ten-dimensional structure of the universe, with several dimensions folded undetectably back into themselves. A final chapter forecasts that string theory will become the standard physical model in the next century. Entertaining and well-written - possibly the clearest popular treatment to date of this complex subject. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Brian Greene
Brian Greene is Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University and Cornell University.
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