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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Very Interesting

Good for anyone who's interested in the field but does not have formal training in Mathmatics and / or Physics. If you find yourself on the discovery channel alot or the Science channel, this book is for you

posted by Mwry13 on October 10, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but Not for Everyone

Physicist and author, Brian Greene, discusses old and new insights in physics. Exploring spacetime, relativity, quantum mechanics, superstring theory and M-theory, among other topics, Greene attempts to illustrate what seems thus far to comprise the workings of the univ...
Physicist and author, Brian Greene, discusses old and new insights in physics. Exploring spacetime, relativity, quantum mechanics, superstring theory and M-theory, among other topics, Greene attempts to illustrate what seems thus far to comprise the workings of the universe. Elegant Universe is an interesting enough read which nonetheless will not engage everyone and will leave many wondering. Because while the language and analogies are understandable even for those who are not mathematicians or scientists, the theories presented may be difficult to comprehend. Also, the book is probably more appealing to those who constantly ponder the micro- and macro- scopic universe or are concerned with the discovery of a T.O.E. (Theory of Everything) than to those looking for more tangible consequences of the micro- and macro-scopic on their immediate physical existences.

posted by 1311659 on May 4, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    ****

    Very well written. A good introduction to String Theory.
    Should be followed with "The Hidden Reality" also by Brian Green.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Very Thought Provoking

    Not a quick page turner but very interesting read.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Brian Greene's the elegant universe

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Brian Greene's the elegant universe. Greene has an astonishing ability to take extremely advanced concepts and turn them into examples that people without math or science degrees can understand. The book goes over some of the flaws with our understanding of the universe and then explains some of the theories, or solutions to these mathematical and scientific mysteries. I liked this book because these are the kind of topics and things our future generations will have to master and control. At the same time I understand why other people would have an overall dislike of the book because at times it is a little dry at complex. Overall the elegant universe is very informative, easy to understand and really gets the imagination going when it comes to the things that are possible. Other books I would recommend would by some of the works of Issac Asimov he was another author that was able to explain complex scientific theories in a way everyone could understand.

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    Accessable

    Distills important concepts in a manner that keeps your interest

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Awesome

    Almost the best book ever... the best book is "the remains of the day.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    highly recommended

    This is perhaps the best of Brian Greene's books explaining the provocative theories coming forth from theoretical physics. I am grateful that he is able to explain this subject in understandable terms for those of us who struggled through calculus and physics. This is a lengthy book that requires time and concentration. The reward is to realize that the world you believe to be the one reality is quite different to scientists like Greene. I like to think of it as a step into the 21st Century.

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  • Posted January 9, 2012

    Stellar book!

    I love this book. As a geographer who loves physics but does not have the background, or probably the brain, to really study it in detail, this book was perfect. String Theory is not as well renowned or even theoretically accepted as this book implies, but the overview of physics underlying the book's arguments for string theory are very accessible and understandable.

    This is one of those rare physics books that I couldn't put down. It was fascinating, and is a fine accompaniment to Tyson's "Death by Black Hole." Unlike Tyson's book, however, this one is more streamlined. The chapters tie into one another really well; whereas, "Death by Black Hole" was written more like a string of separate essays.

    I am giving this four stars, because my physicist friends have convinced me that string theory is largely garbage -- well-funded but unfounded garbage -- and this book makes it seem like there is no debate about string theory in the field. Overall, though, this book totally rocks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2004

    Good but too difficult to be true

    The string theory upgrades the understanding of the universe with more dimensions that seem like Ptolemy's epicycles to me. One should read The Elegant Universe because it is a milestone book. A serious reader must look for simpler solutions that will bring a real understanding of this world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    Much better if you read it twice

    A must read for the physics wanna-bes out there (like me!). The astounding and confounding information within this book can become frustrating the first time through, so if you read it once, read it again and it all starts to make sense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    String Theory for Dummies

    String theory stands ready to turn the world of physics on its head yet again (after relativity and quantum mechanics) but is not the easiest subject to grasp. With folded dimensions and vibrating 'strings', almost everything about it is contrary to the ordinary layperson's understanding of 'things'. This book helps to explain a difficult concept and does so well. At times the going gets tougher than one might want, but it is hard to tell whether Greene is at all at fault in that regard or that the subject is just too darned tough. A fascinating read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2003

    Awesome Book

    This is a smash-bang book from a noted professor at Columbia University in the City of New York! If you have any background in Physics... and enjoy it... you will probably like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

    Great Book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2001

    Great, but a little hard to follow

    This book is great in describing quantum mechanics and relativity on a simple level. I have gained much more insight into these two topics. However, Greene's main focus, string theory, becomes very abstract and extremely hard to follow. I find myself skimming and not really understanding a lot of his principles. String theory certainly is not for the layman. But overall, incredibly entertaining and fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2000

    Is the ballpark in the ballpark?

    There is a submicroscopic bandwidth of space (better to call it plenum rather than vacuum) somewhere between 10 to the minus 21st centimeter and, say, 10 to the minus 41st centimeter where frenzied quantum fluctuations create virtual string pairs which blink in and out of existence. Brian Greene¿s book gives me the quantum jitters. The author clarifies that although our current energy accelerators can measure tiny lengths of 10 to the minus 16th centimeter, in order to be able to see the Planck length strings (10 to the minus 33rd centimeter), one would need an accelerator with the circumference of either our galaxy or the entire universe. Greene asks the rhetorical question whether the existence of strings will ever be confirmed by experimental evidence. Magnification by 33 or more magnitudes (powers of ten) would show whether these banjo strings exist. But it is clear that no such technology to so magnify lies on the human horizon. Putting the mumbo-jumbo physics aside and viewing strings from a distance, this book sounds like another search for a secular Deity. The untestable premises put the theory in the camp of New Age Theology or even astrology. All of these schools concern a realm of thought beyond science and provable theory. To paraphrase Greene¿s words: a theory with beautiful simplicity which can heal the breach between gravity and quantum mechanics, and that can unify all of nature¿s ingredients. But the question remains, do these frenzied quantum fluctuations or quantum jitters represent a stand in or understudy for God? I liked the book a lot because of the author¿s honest admission that string theory could turn out to be an elaborate Dungeons and Dragons game. Since the string coupling constant cannot be calculated there can be no answer to the author¿s relevant question in Chapter 12,¿Is the Ballpark in the Ballpark?¿ While proving nothing positive the book is great fodder for thought.

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    Posted September 28, 2011

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    Posted October 25, 2011

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    Posted January 5, 2012

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    Posted May 10, 2011

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    Posted January 3, 2014

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    Posted February 26, 2010

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