The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality Paperback – Feb 8 2005
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
String theory is a recent development in physics that, by positing that all which exists is composed of infinitesimally small vibrating loops of energy, seeks to unify Einstein's theories and those of quantum mechanics into a so-called "theory of everything." In 1999, Greene, one of the world's leading physicists, published The Elegant Universe (Norton), a popular presentation of string theory that became a major bestseller and, last fall, a highly rated PBS/Nova series. The strength of the book resided in Greene's unparalleled (among contemporary science writers) ability to translate higher mathematics (the language of physics) and its findings into everyday language and images, through adept use of metaphor and analogy, and crisp, witty prose. The same virtues adhere to this new book, which offers a lively view of human understanding of space and time, an understanding of which string theory is an as-yet unproven advance. To do this, Greene takes a roughly chronological approach, beginning with Newton, moving through Einstein and quantum physics, and on to string theory and its hypotheses (that there are 11 dimensions, ten of space and one of time; that there may be an abundance of parallel universes; that time travel may be possible, and so on) and imminent experiments that may test some of its tenets. None of this is easy reading, mostly because the concepts are tough to grasp and Greene never seems to compromise on accuracy. Eighty-five line drawings ease the task, however, as does Greene's felicitous narration; most importantly, though, Greene not only makes concepts clear but explains why they matter. He opens the book with a discussion of Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus, setting a humanistic tone that he sustains throughout. This is popular science writing of the highest order, with copious endnotes that, unlike the text, include some math.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* Forbidding formulas no longer stand between general readers and the latest breakthroughs in astrophysics: the imaginative gifts of one of the pioneers making those breakthroughs have now translated mathematical science into accessible analogies drawn from everyday life and popular culture. Using images as simple as that of Homer Simpson riding a skateboard and an ordinary earthworm crawling along a tightrope, Greene draws readers deep into revolutionary new conceptions of space and time. These conceptions transform the everyday world of 3-dimensional sense perception into the illusory surface of an 11-dimensional reality. Hidden from human view, tightly coiled loops of multidimensional string link radiant stars to mysterious black matter in a galactic space-time tapestry of sublime symmetry. Though Greene deepens his inquiries with occasional ventures into scholarly complexities (thoughtfully warning timid readers, who can skip the abstruse sections), disarmingly simple principles finally penetrate the very frontiers of cosmological research, where the random chaos of quantum mechanics begins to fit within the lucid harmonies of relativity and where the strangely one-directional arrow of time starts to yield the secrets of its flight. Nonspecialists will relish this exhilarating foray into the alien terrain that is our own universe. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
For me, the book breaks down into two parts. The first 2/3 is an account of historical developments in physics using an excellent organizing scheme. Greene sets out two key questions. First, are space and time fundamental or do they simply arise as descriptions of relations among other fundamental entities? Second, how do we account for the unidirectional flow of time ("the arrow of time") which we experience? With these questions in mind, Greene reviews classical physics, Einstein's relativity, quantum mechanics, and recent cosmological theories.
The best part of this first section of the book for me was the review of the inflationary hypothesis. After describing the second law of thermodynamics (the only part of traditional science which has an explicit arrow of time), Greene examines theories of the history of our universe for a possible explanation of both the flow of time we experience as well as the geometry of observed space. I understood the attraction of the inflationary scenario much better after reading the book.
The second part of the book is a discussion of progress in string theory/M theory and the attempt to reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics in a unified framework.
String theory's major exciting starting point was its promise to explain all of the fundamental particles and forces (including gravity) in a framework of one-dimensional units called strings.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This guy simply can not write a bad book! If you truly wish to gain an insight on life, the universe and everything, then I suggest reading ANYTHING this man puts out! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Daniel G. McLelland
Brian Greene has created a great presentation for the non physics students whereby the theories are easy to understand.
For me, no math formulas, a great bonus. Read more
After reading this book, and also many other popular physics titles, you will be ready to explore the world of more advanced physics texts, that would be incomprehensible... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2014 by Trigonal
One word is enough to sum it up: Amazing! I first got hooked watching Fabric of the Cosmos on TV, so decided to get the book. Definitely am not dissappointed.Published on Aug. 30 2013 by NorthStar
An insightful, interesting and surprisingly easy read. That does not mean that it is not challenging. I will reread this one several times.Published on June 19 2013 by E. Stepko
Liked the DVD. Very informative and well presented.Watched it twice for better understanding.Acquired other DVD's on the same subject.The book is a little heavy.Published on March 12 2013 by HVDT
Brian Greene has the ability to write books about physics that non-physicists can understand. He takes you into the world of quantum physics, looking at the structure of the... Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2013 by ScienceLives
Let's just get this out of the way first: this book is awesome. Seriously. Do not let any of the naysayers dissuade you from picking this book up if you have even the slightest... Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2011 by Matt Sanderson
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Astronomy > Astronomy
- Books > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Astronomy > Cosmology
- Books > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Physics
- Books > Science & Math > Astronomy > Astronomy
- Books > Science & Math > Astronomy > Cosmology
- Books > Science & Math > Mathematics
- Books > Science & Math > Nature & Ecology > Ecology
- Books > Science & Math > Physics > Cosmology