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1 Beaverton Physics- Cosmology

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

by

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

 

Staff Pick

Using Simpsons and X-Files examples, Brian Greene explains our current understanding of the universe. Whereas The Elegant Universe was primarily about the obscure, largely theoretical world of susperstring theory, Fabric of the Cosmos holds to more solid ground. Greene is a good communicator and illustrates complex issues well. Folks wanting to learn more about relativity, quantum mechanics, and the main points of string theory should find this a good starting point.
Recommended by Doug, Powells.com

Using Simpsons and X-Files examples, Brian Greene explains our current understanding of the universe. Whereas The Elegant Universe was primarily about the obscure, largely theoretical world of susperstring theory, Fabric of the Cosmos holds to more solid ground. Greene is a good communicator and illustrates complex issues well. Folks wanting to learn more about relativity, quantum mechanics, and the main points of string theory should find this a good starting point.
Recommended by Doug, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Brian Greene, one of the world's leading physicists, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way.

Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past?

Greene uses these questions to guide us toward modern science's new and deeper understanding of the universe. From Newton's unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein's fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics' entangled arena where vastly distant objects can bridge their spatial separation to instantaneously coordinate their behavior or even undergo teleportation, Greene reveals our world to be very different from what common experience leads us to believe. Focusing on the enigma of time, Greene establishes that nothing in the laws of physics insists that it run in any particular direction and that "time's arrow" is a relic of the universe's condition at the moment of the big bang. And in explaining the big bang itself, Greene shows how recent cutting-edge developments in superstring and M-theory may reconcile the behavior of everything from the smallest particle to the largest black hole. This startling vision culminates in a vibrant eleven-dimensional "multiverse," pulsating with ever-changing textures, where space and time themselves may dissolve into subtler, more fundamental entities.

Sparked by the trademark wit, humor, and brilliant use of analogy that have made The Elegant Universe a modern classic, Brian Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.

Review:

"This is popular science writing of the highest order...Greene [has an] unparalleled ability to translate higher mathematics into everyday language and images, through the adept use of metaphor and analogy, and crisp, witty prose...He not only makes concepts clear, but explains why they matter." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"[Greene's] excitement for science on the threshold of vital breakthroughs is supremely contagious. The Fabric of the Cosmos is as dazzling as it is tough, and it beautifully reflects this theoretician's ardor for his work." The New York Times

Review:

"Nonspecialists will relish this exhilarating foray into the alien terrain that is our own universe." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"The best exposition and explanation of early 21st-century research into the fundamental nature of the universe as you are likely to find anywhere." Science

Review:

"Perhaps the single best explainer of abstruse science in the world today....Greene has a gift for finding the right metaphor." The Washington Post

Review:

"I recommend Greene?s book to any nonexpert reader who wants an up-to-date account of theoretical physics, written in colloquial language that anyone can understand." Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books

Review:

"As pure intellectual adventure, this is about as good as it gets....Even compared with A Brief History of Time, Greene's book stands out for its sweeping ambition...stripping down the mystery from difficult concepts without watering down the science." Newsday

Review:

"Greene is as elegant as ever, cutting through the fog of complexity with insight and clarity. Space and time, you might even say, become putty in his hands." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Highly informed, lucid and witty....There is simply no better introduction to the strange wonders of general relativity and quantum mechanics, the fields of knowledge essential for any real understanding of space and time." Discover

Synopsis:

One of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time, and explores its implications for everything from physics and cosmology to economics and climate change.

Synopsis:

From one of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals, a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos

What is time?

This deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe more deeply into the fundamentals of the universe. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists faceand#8212;from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particlesand#8212;come down to the nature of time.

The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to todayand#8217;s quantum theorists, have seen things differently. The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary.

Lee Smolin, author of the controversial bestseller The Trouble with Physics, argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back. Itand#8217;s time for a major revolution in scientific thought. The reality of time could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics.

What if the laws of physics themselves were not timeless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical new approach to cosmology that embraces the reality of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with huge implications for physics and beyondand#8212;from climate change to the economic crisis. Smolin explains in lively and lucid prose how the true nature of time impacts our world.

Synopsis:

From Brian Greene, one of the world’s leading physicists and author the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Elegant Universe, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way.

Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? Greene has set himself a daunting task: to explain non-intuitive, mathematical concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience. From Newton’s unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein’s fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics’ entangled arena where vastly distant objects can instantaneously coordinate their behavior, Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.

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.

Table of Contents

Prefaceand#8195;xi

Introductionand#8195;xxi

Part I

Weight: The Expulsion of Time

and#160;and#160;and#160;1.and#160;and#160;and#160;Fallingand#8195;3

and#160;and#160;and#160;2.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Disappearance of Timeand#8195;12

and#160;and#160;and#160;3.and#160;and#160;and#160;A Game of Catchand#8195;25

and#160;and#160;and#160;4.and#160;and#160;and#160;Doing Physics in a Boxand#8195;37

and#160;and#160;and#160;5.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Expulsion of Novelty and Surpriseand#8195;46

and#160;and#160;and#160;6.and#160;and#160;and#160;Relativity and Timelessnessand#8195;54

and#160;and#160;and#160;7.and#160;and#160;and#160;Quantum Cosmology and the End of Timeand#8195;76

Part II

Light: Time Reborn

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Interlude: Einsteinand#8217;s Discontentand#8195;93

and#160;and#160;and#160;8.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Cosmological Fallacyand#8195;97

and#160;and#160;and#160;9.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Cosmological Challengeand#8195;105

and#160;and#160;and#160;10.and#160;and#160;and#160;Principles for a New Cosmologyand#8195;116

and#160;and#160;and#160;11.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Evolution of Lawsand#8195;125

and#160;and#160;and#160;12.and#160;and#160;and#160;Quantum Mechanics and the Liberation of the Atomand#8195;142

and#160;and#160;and#160;13.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Battle Between Relativity and the Quantumand#8195;156

and#160;and#160;and#160;14.and#160;and#160;and#160;Time Reborn from Relativityand#8195;166

and#160;and#160;and#160;15.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Emergence of Spaceand#8195;174

and#160;and#160;and#160;16.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Life and Death of the Universeand#8195;188

and#160;and#160;and#160;17.and#160;and#160;and#160;Time Reborn from Heat and Lightand#8195;195

and#160;and#160;and#160;18.and#160;and#160;and#160;Infinite Space or Infinite Time?and#8195;215

and#160;and#160;and#160;19.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Future of Timeand#8195;229

Epilogue: Thinking in Timeand#8195;254

Endnotesand#8195;275

Bibliographyand#8195;297

Acknowledgmentsand#8195;301

Indexand#8195;307

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Anat, September 12, 2013 (view all comments by Anat)
There are times in one's life, when a book touches it in a manner that is life altering. Whether the ideas, expressed in a clear voice and understandable phrasing with highly convincing scientific arguments, or down to earth examples and subtle humor and delightful amusement which makes the not so easy scientific facts, accepted. As for life altering effect - the fascinating explanation of the huge universe and its wonders made it easier to accept that although our existence is extremely short compared to it, we matter! WE ARE STARDUST!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Anat, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Anat)
With lucid, well organised prose, with authority and passion, Brian Greene introduces the wonders of the universe. It unravels as a fantastic fairy tale, with enthousiastic participation of the greatest minds of all times. Vulgarisation but not vulgar, it allows the regular folks to dip into this magic and come out starry eyed. Great book. Anyone who has ever wandered how does it all hold together and since when, must read the book.
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dcruz, February 21, 2008 (view all comments by dcruz)
We are builded with atoms and then the book talk about us
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(2 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375727207
Author:
Greene, Brian
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Smolin, Lee
Location:
New York
Subject:
Cosmology
Subject:
Astronomy - Universe
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Astronomy - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
bk. 2
Publication Date:
20050231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
21 images
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.19 lb

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The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375727207 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Using Simpsons and X-Files examples, Brian Greene explains our current understanding of the universe. Whereas The Elegant Universe was primarily about the obscure, largely theoretical world of susperstring theory, Fabric of the Cosmos holds to more solid ground. Greene is a good communicator and illustrates complex issues well. Folks wanting to learn more about relativity, quantum mechanics, and the main points of string theory should find this a good starting point.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Using Simpsons and X-Files examples, Brian Greene explains our current understanding of the universe. Whereas The Elegant Universe was primarily about the obscure, largely theoretical world of susperstring theory, Fabric of the Cosmos holds to more solid ground. Greene is a good communicator and illustrates complex issues well. Folks wanting to learn more about relativity, quantum mechanics, and the main points of string theory should find this a good starting point.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This is popular science writing of the highest order...Greene [has an] unparalleled ability to translate higher mathematics into everyday language and images, through the adept use of metaphor and analogy, and crisp, witty prose...He not only makes concepts clear, but explains why they matter." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Review" by , "[Greene's] excitement for science on the threshold of vital breakthroughs is supremely contagious. The Fabric of the Cosmos is as dazzling as it is tough, and it beautifully reflects this theoretician's ardor for his work."
"Review" by , "Nonspecialists will relish this exhilarating foray into the alien terrain that is our own universe." (Starred Review)
"Review" by , "The best exposition and explanation of early 21st-century research into the fundamental nature of the universe as you are likely to find anywhere."
"Review" by , "Perhaps the single best explainer of abstruse science in the world today....Greene has a gift for finding the right metaphor."
"Review" by , "I recommend Greene?s book to any nonexpert reader who wants an up-to-date account of theoretical physics, written in colloquial language that anyone can understand."
"Review" by , "As pure intellectual adventure, this is about as good as it gets....Even compared with A Brief History of Time, Greene's book stands out for its sweeping ambition...stripping down the mystery from difficult concepts without watering down the science."
"Review" by , "Greene is as elegant as ever, cutting through the fog of complexity with insight and clarity. Space and time, you might even say, become putty in his hands."
"Review" by , "Highly informed, lucid and witty....There is simply no better introduction to the strange wonders of general relativity and quantum mechanics, the fields of knowledge essential for any real understanding of space and time."
"Synopsis" by , One of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time, and explores its implications for everything from physics and cosmology to economics and climate change.
"Synopsis" by ,
From one of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals, a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos

What is time?

This deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe more deeply into the fundamentals of the universe. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists faceand#8212;from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particlesand#8212;come down to the nature of time.

The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to todayand#8217;s quantum theorists, have seen things differently. The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary.

Lee Smolin, author of the controversial bestseller The Trouble with Physics, argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back. Itand#8217;s time for a major revolution in scientific thought. The reality of time could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics.

What if the laws of physics themselves were not timeless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical new approach to cosmology that embraces the reality of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with huge implications for physics and beyondand#8212;from climate change to the economic crisis. Smolin explains in lively and lucid prose how the true nature of time impacts our world.

"Synopsis" by , From Brian Greene, one of the world’s leading physicists and author the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Elegant Universe, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way.

Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? Greene has set himself a daunting task: to explain non-intuitive, mathematical concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience. From Newton’s unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein’s fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics’ entangled arena where vastly distant objects can instantaneously coordinate their behavior, Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.

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