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The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality Paperback – Feb 8 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (Feb. 8 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375727205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375727207
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 953 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By James Tepper on July 12 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing. Apparently a number of folks agree with me given the 4.5 star average it has gotten from the preceding 60 reviews. There were some pans, however. In contradistinction to what some of the naysayers (and some of the kuods too) have written , this is most certainly *not* a rehash of the "Elegant Universe", which I also read and liked a lot. This is something totally different. This is not about string theory or quantum mechanics or relativity or the nature of time - but it does contain discussion of all of those. This book is about nothing less than cosmology, the structure of the universe, just exactly as the title indicates.
I have read a number of lay (read - not for physicists but not for your average college drop-out either) physics books over the years, mostly having to do with quantum mechainics and the nature of physical reality or relavity. Prior to "Fabric", I think my favorite was John Gribbin's "In Search of Schroedinger's Cat". I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the essentials of quantum mechanics for a layman, and learned relatively little that was really new from most of the others. But I found a lot of new material in"Fabric". The way the quantum measurement problem was dealt with or resolted was great - new to me. The discussion of entanglement, and why everything is in fact *not* connected to everything else was also new to me, and well done. There is a ton of new physics from the late 1990s that is reviewed here. This book contains everything a newcomer to quantum mechanics needs, but also has tons to offer folks who have read on this subject before. And that alone is is quite an accomplishment,. more than worth the price of admission.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 16 2006
Format: Paperback
This thought-provoking book has a wider perspective than Greene's Elegant Universe, in which he expounded on String Theory. Fabric Of The Cosmos discusses the latest findings in theoretical physics in a style accessible to the ordinary reader.

The book contains a short summary of string theory. In brief, this theory proposes that particles like quarks, electrons et al. are not dots but minute filaments of vibrating energy that produce various particle properties. Superstring Theory reconciles general relativity with quantum mechanics in a single theory, making it a strong candidate for Einstein's elusive Unified Theory.

The author explores the two most prominent concerns of modern physics: The historical development from Galileo and Newton to Einstein and Hawking, and the very latest theories that arose from this development.

Chapter 12 is basically a summary of The Elegant Universe, whilst the following two chapters explore the possibilities of experimentally testing the string theory.

A very important component of he book is the irreconcilable gap between the theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity only hold valid for large objects, whilst quantum mechanics explains the subatomic composition of matter/energy. Since the two are incompatible, Greene maintains that a theory of quantum gravity must be developed, one that holds true for both small and large objects.

In the chapters Time And The Quantum and Entangling Space, the author looks at quantum mechanics and the strange phenomena of entanglement. He rejects Niels Bohr's dualistic interpretation of the world of facts and the world of probabilities, postulating a hidden reality composed of 9 spatial dimensions and 1 of time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "dinaschramm" on Feb. 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just sat down to write a glowing review of Brian Greene's new book, and was frankly shocked to see the few, but inaccurate, reviews among the many positive ones.
I am a high school science teacher and, among other books, have been using Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe in class for a few years, so I know it extremely well (the students love it--the book has even inspired a couple of our students to study physics in college). I just devoured The Fabric of the Cosmos, so I now know it well too. It is a fresh, original, highly creative presentation of a tremendous amount of material, most of which is not covered in The Elegant Universe. To say otherwise is wrong. The retired physics professor who sent in a review a few days ago said it really well: in this book, Brian Green tackles the "big" and most puzzling discoveries that were not part of his first book.
For example, I've been searching for years for an understandable and complete explanation of the Einstein-Rosen-Podolski effect (if you don't know what this is, you are in for a treat when you read the book). The Fabric of the Cosmos finally gives one. I've read many attempts in previous books (and articles too), but no explanation I've ever read comes anywhere near the clarity and fullness of the one given in The Fabric of the Cosmos. After years of people trying to explain this effect in layman's terms, this book finally succeeds.
The chapters that talk about whether time flows and why it has a direction, whether space and time should be thought of as physical substances, and experiments on quantum time, are equally lucid and entertaining, as are the chapters on recent advances in cosmology, Superstring theory, teleportation, and even the charming discussion of speculations on time travel.
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