The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
"[Greene] develops one fresh new insight after another…In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, The Elegant Universe sets a standard that will be hard to beat." –George Johnson, The New York Times Book Review
In 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 11 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.
Green uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to illustrate 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 science writing-a delightful, lucid voyage through modern physics that brings us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
Explains the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions. A lucid voyage through modern physics that brings us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works. Softcover. DLC: Superstring theories.
From the Back Cover
"The Elegant Universe is compulsively readable…. Greene threatens to do for string theory what Stephen Hawking did for black holes." –New York
"[An] important book…. The Elegant Universe presents the ideas and aspirations-and some of the characters-of string theory with clarity and charm." –Scientific American
"As good as it gets…. [A] thrilling ride through a lovely landscape." –Los Angeles Times
"[Greene] writes with poetic eloquence and style…. [He] does an admirable job of translating a wholly mathematical endeavor into visual terms." –The Washington Post Book World
"[Greene’s} metaphors oftten provide beauty and power…. The Elegant Universe is a rewarding read." –Discovery Magazine
"String theory is the hottest idea to emerge in physics since Stephen Hawking gazed into a black hole…. [Greene] explain[s] it in terms that anyone can understand." –San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author(s)
Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. He lives in New York City.
A magnficent accomplishment, February 5, 2000
In this book on eleven-dimensional space-time, Brian Greene proves himself to be truly exceptional in at least three of those dimensions: by his thorough comprehension of the origins and direction of theoretical physics up through the emergence of superstring theory, by his monumental contributions to that theory in identifying its components and extending its reach, and, thirdly, in explaining this subject in a way that allows the "layman" to gain an appreciation and intuitive understanding of it.
By way of explaining the use of the term "layman," let me point out that this book is not light reading. I don’t believe it can be read by those without at least some exposure to college level physics. I am a former high school physics teacher, and I had to really stretch to understand Dr. Greene’s explanations. Nevertheless, considering the mathematical and physical complexity of the subject matter, Dr. Greene has done a splendid and remarkable job of explaining the subject at a conceptual, nonmathematical level. Anyone with a physics background through the level of an introductory course in modern physics will find Dr. Greene’s treatise accessible. It brings the reader closer to the current state of research in the rapidly moving field of superstring theory than books written even two years ago.
The book requires work, but it was a labor of love. This book is beautifully and artfully written and was a joy to read. I recommend it highly to anyone with the modest physics background described above who enjoys exploring theoretical physics and cosmology at a level approximating that of Scientific American.