Synopses & Reviews
From the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe
and The Fabric of the Cosmos
comes his most expansive and accessible book to date—a book that takes on the grandest question: Is ours the only universe?
There was a time when “universe” meant all there is. Everything. Yet, in recent years discoveries in physics and cosmology have led a number of scientists to conclude that our universe may be one among many. With crystal-clear prose and inspired use of analogy, Brian Greene shows how a range of different “multiverse” proposals emerges from theories developed to explain the most refined observations of both subatomic particles and the dark depths of space: a multiverse in which you have an infinite number of doppelgängers, each reading this sentence in a distant universe; a multiverse comprising a vast ocean of bubble universes, of which ours is but one; a multiverse that endlessly cycles through time, or one that might be hovering millimeters away yet remains invisible; another in which every possibility allowed by quantum physics is brought to life. Or, perhaps strangest of all, a multiverse made purely of math.
Greene, one of our foremost physicists and science writers, takes us on a captivating exploration of these parallel worlds and reveals how much of realitys true nature may be deeply hidden within them. And, with his unrivaled ability to make the most challenging of material accessible and entertaining, Greene tackles the core question: How can fundamental science progress if great swaths of reality lie beyond our reach?
Sparked by Greenes trademark wit and precision, The Hidden Reality is at once a far-reaching survey of cutting-edge physics and a remarkable journey to the very edge of reality—a journey grounded firmly in science and limited only by our imagination.
From the Hardcover edition.
"'There was a time when "universe" meant "all there is,"' writes Greene, but soon we may have to redefine that word, along with our own meager understanding of the cosmos. A theoretical physicist and celebrated author, Greene offers intrepid readers another in-depth yet marvelously accessible look inside the perplexing world of modern theoretical physics and cosmology. Greene's book The Elegant Universe explained late 20th-century efforts to find a unified theory of everything, culminating with string theory. But string theory opened up a new can of worms, hinting at the possible existence of multiple universes and other strange entities. The possibility of other universes existing alongside our own like holes in 'a gigantic block of Swiss cheese' seems more likely every day. Beginning with relativity theory, the Big Bang, and our expanding universe, Greene introduces first the mind-blowing multiplicity of forms those parallel universes might take, from patchwork quilts or stretchy 'branes' to landscapes and holograms riddled with black holes. With his inspired analogies starring everyone from South Park's Eric Cartman to Ms. Pac-Man and a can of Pringles, Greene presents a lucid, intriguing, and triumphantly understandable state-of-the-art look at the universe. Illus. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"It's exciting and rewarding to read [Greene] even when the process is a struggle. This book is significantly more difficult than his earlier ones, but it still captures and engages the imagination." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[Greene's] accounts...provide lucid explanations that will satisfy a lay audience....The latest cosmological discoveries and speculations, directed at a popular audience but definitely not oversimplified." Kirkus Reviews
The bestselling author of The Elegant Universe
and The Fabric of the Cosmos
tackles perhaps the most mind-bending question in modern physics and cosmology: Is our universe the only universe?
There was a time when "universe" meant all there is. Everything. Yet, a number of theories are converging on the possibility that our universe may be but one among many parallel universes populating a vast multiverse. Here, Briane Greene, one of our foremost physicists and science writers, takes us on a breathtaking journey to a multiverse comprising an endless series of big bangs, a multiverse with duplicates of every one of us, a multiverse populated by vast sheets of spacetime, a multiverse in which all we consider real are holographic illusions, and even a multiverse made purely of math--and reveals the reality hidden within each.
Using his trademark wit and precision, Greene presents a thrilling survey of cutting-edge physics and confronts the inevitable question: How can fundamental science progress if great swaths of reality lie beyond our reach? The Hidden Reality is a remarkable adventure through a world more vast and strange than anything we could have imagined.
From the bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos comes his most thrilling and accessible book to date — a state-of-the-art tour of the cutting-edge science that is changing the way we see our world.
From the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe
and The Fabric of the Cosmos:
his most thrilling and accessible book to date — a state-of-the-art tour of the cutting-edge science that is changing the way we see our world.
In recent years, a growing body of work — based on the principles of quantum mechanics, cosmology, and string theory — has been steadily converging around a proposal that our universe is actually only one of many universes. In fact, research supports a number of different models of parallel universes in which our world appears: for instance, as one of many “bubbles” in a rapidly growing bath of universes, or as one of numerous cosmic slabs separated from one another through additional spatial dimensions.
Brian Greene, with his trademark impartiality, crystal-clear prose, and inspired use of analogy, opens up the strange worlds of the “multiverse,” taking us on a journey grounded firmly in science, and limited only by our ima ginations.
The first complete biography of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, revealing the personal feuds and ideological battles, the decades of neglect, the resurgence, and now, the deep questioning of a theory that has given us black holes, dark energy, and modern cosmology.
“It’s been a heck of a century for relativity, and The Perfect Theory is a perfect guide for this most beloved branch of modern physics.” — Wall Street Journal
Einstein’s theory of general relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics. For almost a century now, physicists have been delving into Einstein's theory, seeking an understanding of the history of the universe, the origin of time, and the evolution of solar systems, stars, and galaxies. The expanding universe, the light speed barrier, black holes, wormholes, time travel — general relativity has allowed scientists’ imaginations to take flight with new possibilities, revealing a universe that is much stranger than anyone ever expected.
Arriving in time for the theory’s hundred-year anniversary, physicist Pedro Ferreira’s The Perfect Theory explains just how staggering an achievement that theory was while bringing to life the infighting that the theory sparked in the field of physics over the past century.
“Ferreira masterfully portrays the science and scientists behind general relativity’s star-crossed history and argues that even now we are only just beginning to realize its vitality as a tool for understanding the cosmos.” —Scientific American
Einstein’s theory of general relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics. For almost a century now, physicists have been delving into Einstein’s theory, seeking an understanding of the history of the universe, the origin of time, and the evolution of solar systems, stars, and galaxies. The expanding universe, the light-speed barrier, black holes, wormholes, time travel—general relativity has allowed scientists’ imaginations to take flight with new possibilities, revealing a universe that is much stranger than anyone ever expected.
Just in time for the theory’s hundred-year anniversary, physicist Pedro Ferreira’s The Perfect Theory explains just how staggering an achievement general relativity was while bringing to life the infighting that it sparked in the field of physics over the past century.
“A rollicking good read . . . With crisp explanations and narrative flair, Ferreira offers us a fun, fresh take on a magnificent part of modern science.” —Steven Strogatz, author of The Joy of x
“One of the best popular accounts of how Einstein and his followers have been trying to explain the universe for decades.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
About the Author
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. His first book, The Elegant Universe
, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His second book, The Fabric of the Cosmos,
was also a bestseller. He lives in Andes, New York, and New York City.