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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theoryby Brian Greene
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Many books have been written in an attempt to explain quantum physics to the layperson. Considering that most physicists still have problems coming to grips with the counter-intuitive implications of quantum theory, it is easy to understand why they do not always succeed in communicating the mind-bending revelations about reality demonstrated by the famous double-slit experiment. Brian Greene succeeds where other books have fallen short; his explanations made the most sense to me after reading them. Plus, the fast-paced world of high-energy physics is constantly revising its models and theories. First published in 1999, The Elegant Universe is still a fairly current discussion about the attempts of superstrings and M-theory to achieve the highly sought after grand unification of quantum theory and the theory of relativity.
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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 often provide beauty and power.... The Elegant Universe is a rewarding read." Discovery Magazine
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 joined the physics faculty of Cornell University in 1990, was appointed to a full professorship in 1995, and in 1996 joined Columbia University where he is professor of physics and mathematics. He has lectured at both a general and a technical level in more than twenty-five countries and is widely regarded for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory. He lives in Andes, New York, and New York City.
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