Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

4.4 76
by B. Greene
     
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780736697507
Publisher:
Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2004

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Fabric of the Cosmos 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in a book that discusses the universe than this is a good title to pick up and read. After reading Brian Greene, I have come to the realization that space is more vast than I ever imagined. The universe is a place that is so big and so expansive that after this book one is able to understand more completely how the universe works. Greene also mentions string theory. String theory is one of the latest theories that unify the macroscopic and the microscopic worlds of physics.
pappy1WD More than 1 year ago
I first became aware of this title watching Nova on PBS. I was enthralled to say the least...had to get the book and was not disappointed. Mr. Greene is very engaging and presents the material in an intelligent as well as entertaining way. NO MATH. I must admit that I had to work a bit on some of the material especially the quantum part but that is what I found so engaging.I am into my second reading and have also embarked on a journey to learn physics and even honing up on my algebra. Being retired I have the time. All of this in somewhat new to me and I come into it with no or little presuppositions. I just purchased the DVD of the title and I will most definitely buy his other books...can't wait.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We highly recommend this excellent introduction to theoretical physics, which is accessible to any determined reader, even those with no mathematical and little scientific background. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Brian Greene is scrupulous about clarity, and has a gift for metaphor that makes it possible for him to discuss even the most abstruse, esoteric physics with skill, clarity and wit. Readers will discover baffling wonders that flatly contradict ordinary quotidian experience, and will come to realize that what they perceive as real is anything but real. Moreover, they will learn that physicists seem to have a great deal more success at demonstrating what is not real than at discovering what is. The most commonplace things - the difference between yesterday and tomorrow, between here and there - continue to baffle the greatest minds in science. Now you can begin to understand why.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frankly speaking, my greatest interest was not in physics. But after reading Brian Greene, I am seriously planning to graduate in physics. This book has opened my mind to the wonders of quantum mechanics and I am really thankful for it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the first sentence of chap. 16 (the last chapter of Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Universe), the author srites, 'Physicists spend a large part of their lives in a state of confusion.' If such a sobering, and humorous, assessment is made of seasoned professionals, little wonder that laypersons untrained in physics and mathematics develop an Excedrin headache trying to grasp the mind-boggling theories of modern science. What is space? What is time? What is matter? What is energy? What is gravity? What is reality? In our mundane, commonsense thinking, the answers are self-evident and patently clear. The truth, however, says Greene, is otherwise. Many, if not most, of the findings of modern physics are counterintuitive; they reveal a cosmos far stranger than imagined in our wildest dreams. Greene, the author of The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory (Revised Edition, 2003), has now published a second popular work on physics in which he delves into the mysteries of space and time, or (since Einstein) spacetime. From Sir Isaac Newton's classical physics, to Albert Einstein's theories of special and general relativity, to the weird world of quantum mechanics and superstring theory, Greene is our tour guide into the macrocosmos (the world of the very large) and the microcosmos (the world of the very small). Here we encounter an ugly skeleton rattling around in the physicists' closet: 'The greatest obstacle theoretical physics has faced during the last eighty years [is the] fundamental rift between general relativity and quantum mechanics.' When the mathematical calculations of each are juxtaposed, things just don't add up. Until some grand unifying field theory is found, the two greatest theories of modern physics stand in embarrassing contradiction. Following the lead of Edward Witten, the world's most renowned string theorist, Greene believes that superstring theory is the key to such a unified field theory. Superstrings (if they exist) are conceived to be incredibly tiny loops of vibrating energy that lie deep within the heart of matter and that are able to connect with and influence, from incredible distances, objects widely separated in spacetime. M-theory, a refinement of superstring theory, envisions the existence of eleven dimensions (ten of space and one of time). In such a bizarre (and, for this reviewer, incomprehensible) cosmos, the arrow of time, which seemingly moves only in one direction (from the past to the present and on to the future), could be reversed time machines might be possible. Pass the Excedrin, please! Greene writes brilliantly about symmetry, the second law of thermodynamics (entropy), gravity, multiverses (parallel universes), the evolution and expansion of the universe, black holes, and the influence of the big bang on the arrow of time. Disappointingly, however, he says little (except implicitly) about causality, except in a footnote to chap. 3. Greene scatters nuggets of wit, wisdom, and humor through his intelligent text, and provides numerous analogies and metaphors ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous--from Nicole Kidman and Zen koans to Voodoo and the Scarecrow in the Land of Oz. Numerous drawings and line illustrations enhance the book's popular appeal. If you want to be ambitious, read the 42 pages of technical notes at the end of the volume. Caution: More than one Excedrin tablet is needed for such a venture. So what? you may ask. What does all this scientific stuff have to do with the price of tea in China? If nothing else, we gain from Greene's book a fascinating chronicle of our evolving understanding of the basic 'stuff' of the universe. For, as the philosopher Aristotle wrote, in the first sentence of his Metaphysics, 'All men by nature desire to know.' Roy E. Perry is an advertising copywriter at a Nashville publishing house. He may be reached at rperry1778@aol.com ABOUT THE AUTHOR
au82 More than 1 year ago
Brian Greene is a great science mind and writer. If you are interested in the basic nature of our universe, this is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After listening to the first two chapters on CD, I bought the book. Eric Davies, the reader, put emphasis on the wrong words so often (he reads the book like it is a suspense novel) that his reading interfered with learning. Too bad Brian Greene didn't read it himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very interesting. The author was very concise and stuck to the subject matter. His description of Newton's bucket experiment as to how the water in a bucket is affected by the rotation of the bucket was very insightful. I was so amazed by this book, I bought his first one and am reading it now (the elegant universe). I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how the world works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the best book you can hope for this topic (in case you are not a physics graduate.). Very simple and interesting style of explaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous010 More than 1 year ago
An excellent book!! It is a great intro to theoretical physics despite the fact that it is doesn't presume any knowledge of mathematics on the part of the reader. This book is great for someone who doesn't have very much grounding in physics.
jdchuck68 More than 1 year ago
You don't have to be a genius to enjoy this excellent book that explains some of the most difficult concepts in science. Relativity, gravity, spacetime, quantum physics--some of the most mind-bending subjects--are explained using examples from everyday life. With clever and even humorous explanation, Greene makes these concepts understandable and even enjoyable. One word of warning: for me it took a bit longer to get through but not because of any severe degree of difficulty. Instead, I kept finding myself lost in thought, wrapping my brain delightfully around this stuff. Unlike some of Greene's other work, this book doesn't require any higher knowledge of math. It's not a science textbook, it's a great read.
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jmcgarry More than 1 year ago
This is his second book. I finished this book around the same time I was watching the new Cosmos series on Fox. (It's hard to believe that Seth McFarlane, the man behind Family Guy, is one of the producers of the new Cosmos. I'm still waiting for Stewie to show up, or for a Cosmos parody on Family Guy. But I digress.) Like Carl Sagan and Neil Degrasse Tyson on Cosmos, Brian Greene is attempting to make science understandable to those of us who don't have advanced science degrees. Dr Greene uses a lot of pop culture references to illustrate his points. He seems to have a special fondness for the Simpsons. It's a little more complex, though. He's trying to explain the basics of string theory, with its theories of 10-dimensional space and quantum lengths. It can be a little slow going at times. He saves most of the mathematical equations for the footnotes. I'm not sure it's fully understandable to everyone. I had trouble with it myself. Some updates from the text. The large Hadron collider was finished, and the Higgs particle was discovered. Also, scientists recently discovered ripples from the original big bang. Dr Greene knows about pop culture. (He's appeared on the TV show The Big Bang Theory making fun of himself.) He does well in this book. It's just the subject matter that can be daunting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is extremely well written and easily followed by anyone with even a slight bit of knowledge of Physics. Guaranteed you will come a way with a new appreciation for the stuff around you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book for those novices interested in delving into the bizarre yet beautiful fabric of the universe. Written for non scientists in an accessible fashion. Mind bending concepts challenge our sense of reason. Very enjoyable.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like this book read the trouble with physics
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Charles_Darweed More than 1 year ago
For me, the best book of Brian Greene's trilogy. Very well written, exciting, and extremely interesting. If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?