Read The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene Online


The international bestseller that inspired a major Nova special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue.Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallThe international bestseller that inspired a major Nova special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue.Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven 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. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works....

Title : The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
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ISBN : 9780375708114
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 425 Pages
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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-11-30 14:07

    [Original review, written December 2008]When I read this book, I remember thinking it was pretty interesting, but I am surprised how few insights I have retained... to be honest, hardly any. Smolin's The Trouble with Physics, which I read much more recently, suggests that string theory is in big trouble, and right now I am more tempted to side with Smolin.There's this old Nasrudin story, where he's somehow ended up as judge in a court case. The D.A. really makes a good case, and Nasrudin can't restrain himself. "Yes, you're right!" he shouts. Then the defense lawyer gets up and makes his pitch, and Nasrudin is equally impressed. "Yes, you're right!" he shouts again. The court recorder clears his throat and leans over towards Nasrudin. "Your honor," he says respectfully, "they can't both be right!". Nasrudin shakes his head. "Yes, you're right!" he agrees.Well, between Greene and Smolin I feel a bit like Nasrudin, but luckily I am not the judge here. Am I just agreeing with Smolin because I heard him most recently? Maybe. But trying to correct for that, I still think that there is a reason why Smolin seems more convincing and memorable, and why very little of what Greene says has stuck. String theory has become so divorced from experimental reality that it rarely if ever gives you that feeling you get from good science, of suddenly grasping a real physical phenomenon that you have known about for a while, but not understood. I guess the example that makes me least happy is supersymmetry, according to which every particle has a supersymmetric partner. Compare this with the discovery of the periodic table in the late 19th century, or the development of the Standard Theory in the 60s and 70s. There, insightful people gradually realized that objects (atoms in the first case, subatomic particles in the second) were related in a complicated pattern. Most of the time the pattern fit, but there were a few holes, and they were later able to find the things (new elements, new particles) that filled in the holes! I was astonished to read that there is not one single particle which has a known supersymmetric partner - so far, it's all hypothesis, and perhaps none of these "selectrons", "photinos" etc actually exist. I'm not saying that this means supersymmetry is wrong; I'm just saying it means I don't find it exciting. Maybe next year they will get the LHC working, discover a whole slew of supersymmetric partners (even one would be a lot), and put string theory on a proper experimental footing. If that happens, I'm sure I'll go back to reading books on this subject; I won't be able to stop myself. But until then, well, it may be beautiful math, but I feel no emotional connection to it. I'd love to hear from people who disagree, and can explain to me just what it is I'm missing out on.__________________________________[Update, May 2011]We had another particle physicist over for dinner last night. He'd come mainly to play chess, but when I found out that he was involved in looking for supersymmetric particles I took the opportunity to ask how it was going. Well: assuming he's to be trusted, and he sounded pretty knowledgeable on the subject, we should know pretty soon. The LHC is now up to high enough energies. They're collecting data. If supersymmetric particles exist, there is every reason to suppose that we'll have clear evidence of them within a year or two.I wondered what would happen if they didn't find any supersymmetric particles? Would the theoreticians just retreat into saying that they needed a more powerful collider? Not so, said my informant; if the particles can't be found at the current range of energies, the predictions were wrong. Sounds like we're finally getting a straight up-or-down vote.String theory, you can run but you can't hide!__________________________________[Update, September 2011]I knew it was too good to be true. We had yet another particle physicist over, whose PhD topic had been something to do with searching for a supersymmetric quark. I asked her if it really was the case that we'd soon know if supersymmetric particles existed.Alas, it turns out that, although the energies they're now reaching in the LHC are indeed sufficient to find supersymmetric particle according to the mainstream versions of string theory, there are other versions which predict higher energies - energies which are outside the LHC's range. "Of course," she added, "the mainstream version is the one that contains the original motivation for supersymmetry. If they retreat to one of the other versions, then most of the rationale disappears. But people have a lot riding on string theory.""That's terrible!" I said indignantly. She just shrugged her shoulders. __________________________________[Update, May 2015]Browsing the physics section at the South Australian State Library earlier this week, I picked up a copy of Becker, Becker and Schwarz's String Theory and M-Theory (2007). The introduction says clearly that supersymmetry is essential to string theory/M-theory, and moreover that the LHC should be able to reach high enough energies to produce supersymmetric particles, if they do in fact exist. Consulting Google Scholar, my impression is that the book is highly respected: I see 661 citations.Eight years later, no supersymmetric particles have been observed. But no doubt string theorists have an explanation for this inconvenient fact.__________________________________[Update, Dec 2015]Hey, if you think I'm being mean to those poor string theorists, just look at what Randall Munroe said the other day!__________________________________[Update, Aug 2017]It struck me today that the people who are criticising CERN for spending so much money finding the Higgs boson are wrong on at least two counts. First, $13B isn't actually such a large price tag for making a fundamental discovery about the laws of the universe, the truth of which is obvious only in retrospect; many physicists were unsure that the Higgs existed. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, there's the dog that didn't bark in the night. Many physicists were also expecting to find supersymmetric particles, but none have been detected. This greatly weakens the plausibility of string theory and shifts attention to competing theories for unifying quantum mechanics and gravity, of which by far the most attractive is Loop Quantum Gravity.Speaking as someone who used to work for NASA and was involved with the International Space Station project ($150B and counting), I would say CERN has given the taxpayer value for money and then some. It's a pity that all research funding isn't allocated in such a responsible manner.

  • Mohammed-Makram
    2018-12-14 07:45

    عندما سقطت التفاحة التوراتية سقطنا معها إلى هذا العالم و من ثم أصبح لزاما علينا أن نفهمه أو على الأقل نفهم كيف نعيش فيه. و عندما سقطت تفاحة نيوتن ظن العلماء أننا فهمنا أخيرا برغم مقولة نيوتن بأنه كشخص يلعب بالأصداف على شاطئ المحيط بدون أن يجرؤ حتى على النزول و معرفة ما فيه ناهيك عما وراءه.فسر القانون العام للجاذبية حركة الكون و وضع لنا أول تصور غير اسطورى أو دينى للعالم من حولنا و ظل صالحا لكل الأحوال ما يربو على الثلاثة قرون إلى أن جاء اينشتين و لكن هذه المرة بدون تفاح بنظرية يصعب تذوقها و هضمها اضافت الزمان إلى المكان و اصبح لدينا أربعة أبعاد سماها الزمكان في نظرية النسبية الشهيرة التي أعادت بلورة تصورنا للكون الكبير.في ذلك الوقت قادت الصدفة ألمانى أخر هو ماكس بلانك إلى اكتشاف نظرية الكم التي تكون النظرية النسبية بجوارها سهلة لا غموض فيها فقد قال علماء الفيزياء ان من يقول لك أنه يفهم نظرية الكم بصورة كاملة فلا تصدقه.عند ذلك عكف اينشتين على الوصول إلى نظرية كبرى تشرح كل القوى الموجودة في الطبيعة بنظرية واحدة شاملة و لكن لماذا؟ببساطة كانت النسبية تتعامل مع الجاذبية و حركة الأجرام السماوية و الأجسام الضخمة المتباعدة بكفاءة عالية جدا بصورة لا تقبل الشك بينما تنهار تماما عند دراسة بنية الذرة و الأجسام الدقيقة و بالعكس منها نظرية الكم التي تنجح بامتياز عند دراسة الذرة و تفشل في تفسير حركة الأجسام الضخمة المتباعدة.وجد علماء الفيزياء أنفسهم أمام نظريتان كلاهما صحيح في مجاله خاطئ في الناحية الأخرى و من هنا بدأ الجهاد الأعظم في تاريخ الفيزياء و الذى مات اينشتين قبل ان يتوصل فيه لأى نتيجة.يتكون هذا الكون من عناصر كالمعادن و الغازات و غيرها و يتكون كل منها من ذرات و تتكون الذرة من نواة و الكترونات و تتكون نواة الذرة من بروتونات و نيوترونات و تتكون كل منهما من كواركات.إذا فما لدينا هو الكترونات و كواركات و بعض الجسيمات الأخرى متناهية الصغر مختلفة الوظائف كالفوتونات و الميزونات و البوزيترونات و الأجسام المضادة و غيرها من المسميات الفيزيائية لجسيمات لم يرها أحد و انما رأينا تأثيرها و أمكننا هذه من دراسة سلوكها و صفاتها.نظرية الأوتار توصلت في النهاية إلى أن كل تلك الجسيمات تتكون من شيء واحد هو الوتر أو الخيط و هو شيء أشبه بالحلقات المطاطية التي نستخدمها في حزم النقود و يكون مغلق الطرفين أو مفتوحهما و تبعا لتذبذب كل وتر يتحدد طوله الموجى و سعته الموجية و بالتالى طاقته و كتلته فيصير هذا الكترون و هذا كوارك و هذا جرافيتون و ذلك ميزون و هكذا.إذاً حولت النظرية العالم لسيمفونية من العزف الجماعى لترليونات الترليونات من الأوتار في كل سنتيمتر من الكون و لم تكتف بذلك بل أضافت إلى الأبعاد المعروفة سبعة أبعاد جديدة ليصبح لدينا إحدى عشر بعدا منها بعد زمنى واحد و عشرة أبعاد للمكان.فسرت نظرية الأوتار حركة الأجسام سواء كانت متناهية الصغر متقاربة جدا كالكواركات و الفوتونات أو ضخمة جدا متباعدة كالمجرات.كل الشواهد تؤكد صحة النظرية و لكن من الناحية الرياضياتية أما من الناحية العملية فلم يتأكد نجاها إلا منذ حوالى سبعة سنوات عندما حصل أحد العلماء على جائزة نوبل في الفيزياء بعد رصده للجرافيتون الذى تنبأت النظرية بخواصه بدقة قبل ذلك بسنوات. أما حين صدور الكتاب فلم تكن النظرية قد تأكدت بعد.طالت المراجعة و وصلت لحد الملل و ما زال في الكتاب الكثير و الكثير و كذلك في الفيلم الوثائقى بأجزاءه الثلاثة الذى سيسهل عليك هضم الكثير مما ذكر في هذا الكتاب القيم.سأكتفى بهذا القدر لأترككم مع الوثائقى و الكتاب في تلك الرحلة الممتعة. نقطة أخيرة:هل نظرية الأوتار دليل على وجود خالق أم دليل على عدم وجوده؟في الحقيقة لا نظرية الأوتار و لا غيرها لهم علاقة بالتدليل على وجود الخالق من عدمه فهى قضية ايمانية لا تخضع أصلا لسلطان العقل و لا علاقة لها بالعلم أو الفلسفة و انما هي محض ايمان و تسليم قلبى روحى و لنفصل دائما بين طريق العلم و طريق الدين ان كنا نبغى التقدم في المسارين و الا فإن أحدهما سيلتهم الأخر و في النهاية ستكون أنت الخاسر.على الهامش: الضوء ليس له عمر فالوقت لا يمر عند الوصول إلى سرعة الضوء فالفوتون الذى انطلق في الإنفجار الكبير عمره هو نفس لم يتغير حتى الأنتمسك الكتلة بالفضاء المكتن لتخبره كيف يتحدب بينما يمسك الفضاء المكان بالكتلة ليخبرها كيف تتحركتحديد مكان الجسيم تبعا لنظرية الكم يخضع لقاعدة عدم اليقين و حينها يبدو لك أن الجسيم يستعصى على التحديد و قد تظن انه انتشر في المكان كله فكل الاحتمالات جائزةعندما اكتشف هايزنبرج مبدأ عدم اليقين استدارت الفيزياء بحده إلى اتجاه لم ترجع عنه أبدا فالاحتمالات و وظائف الموجة و التداخل و الكمات تتضمن وسائل راديكالية جديدة لإدراك الواقع. و اختفى مفهوم الحقيقة المطلقة و يا أبيض يا اسود اللون الرمادى ده انا محبوش و فجأة أصبح كل شيء رماديا.و يبدو الأمر و كأن الفوتون ليس هو الناقل للقوة بذاته و لكنه ينقل رسالة إلى المتلقى عن الكيفية التي عليه أن يتجاوب بها مع القوى المؤثرة فالبنسبة للجسيمات متشابهة الشحنة فإن الفوتون يحمل رسالة "تفرقو" و بالنسبة للجسيمات مختلفة الشحنة فإنه يحمل رسالة "تجمعوا"أحيانا أتصور أن الكون كله خاضع لشفرة موحدة هي أون أوف أو واحد صفر تفرقوا تجمعوا شيء واحد و عكسه. شفرة بسيطة و لكنها تطغى على كل شيء بداية من القوى الطبيعية و حتى لغات البرمجة الحديثة حتى التقسيمة الرئيسية للموجودات تحصرها بين المادة و الطاقة و كل منهما قابل للتحول للآخر و من االموت تأتى الحياة و من العدم أتى الوجود من قبل بسر كلمة كن.الطول الموجى و السعة الموجية يحددان كتلة الجسيم و طاقته و بالتالى شكله و وظيفته و سلوكه في الكون.يؤكد مبدأ عدم اليقين أنه لا شيء في حالة سكون تام فكل الأجسام تعانى من الهياج الكمى و ينطبق ذلك أيضا على الأوتار و كل في فلك يسبحون.الفيزيايون هم الأنبياء الجدد اللذين يحللون اشارات الله و وحيه الذى يأتيهم على هيئة نظريات يبسطونها و يمررونها الى الشعوبالكون باق و يتمدد. الوثائقيات: الأولالثانىالثالثكلها مترجمة للعربية و على ثلاث قنوات مختلفةمن تهمه مشاهدتها فلينته منها سريعا لتكرار ازالتها من يوتيوب لحماية حقوق الملكية

  • Marvin
    2018-11-22 12:07

    Do I understand string theory? Not sure.Do I understand M theory? A little bit but don't ask for any algebraic reasoning.Do I know exactly what a Calabi-Yau is? Not really but I think they look a little like the hair balls from my cat.This is the second time I've equated quantum physics and all its detours to a hair-ball. That's because I can study a hair ball and still have no idea what it is for and why they exist. String Theory and the elusive TOE is in the same category. I could go on my entire life not knowing about them but now that I do, I need to know why. Newton, Einstein, Feynman, Hawking, and my cat can't all be right. Or can they?That is essentially the dilemma of string theory and the book. Greene does a great job of putting everything in layman's term but there is a point which he must exceed the intellectual ionosphere and soar into the incalculable. I really like this type of book. The challenge is the fun. But rest assured when the scientists get their act together and write an Idiot's guide to The Unified Theory Of Everything, I'll be the first in line.P. S. Hair balls and string theories have something else in common. Once you tore one apart, you can never get your hands clean.

  • Alisha
    2018-11-27 09:59

    I left Christianity a few years ago and swore off religion altogether; however, after reading this book, string theory has become tantamount to religion in my life. Brian Greene writes beautifully about particles, planets, and the origins of our universe as we know it today. It is a heavy book- I don't recommend it for anyone who wants a quick, easy read. It took me almost two months to get through, but I learned a tremendous amount and came away in complete awe of the world and the forces at work in it today. Since Green wrote his book string theory has come under intense scrutiny; despite this, I would still support this book on the basis that it is gorgeously written, based in fact (many of the experiments and proofs were done by Greene himself), and incredibly informative. A vertible Bible of where we came from, where we're going and the incredibly complex way things function in this glorious universe of ours.

  • يونس عمارة
    2018-12-09 15:04

    لنقل ان الفيزياء تنقسم الى نظريات .فيزياء كلاسيكة ، فيزياء حديثة .الفيزياء الكلاسيكة تفسر الكون على اساس معادلات نيوتن وهي صادقة لحد كبير في التنبوءات ومازالت تستعمل وتدرس في المدارس لحد الآن.الحديثة تنقسم الى عدة اقسام : نظرية النسبية العامة والخاصة . نظرية الكم ، نظرية الاوتار الفائقة التي ادعت انها جمعت كل النظريات السابقة ..هناك ايضا سيناريوهات اخرى منها نظرية –ام و عدة اقتراحات اخرى تسمى بنظريات كل شيء ..ان رأيت ان الامر صعب –كما ظهر لي من قبل – فاقرا كتاب (الكون الانيق ) لبرايان غرين ويكفيك ذلك لكي تفهم كل هاته المصطلحات حتى لو كانت ثقافتك الفيزيائية عادية ، ان كنت تريد الفهم حقا فزد اطلع على سيتفن هونكينغ في' الكون في قشرة جوز' .وكتاب من الذرة للكوارك ..والمنظمة العربية للترجمة باشراف الدكتور جابر عصفور فعلت خيرا باخراج كل هاته الروائع بصفة ممتازة جدا ..الكون الانيق كتاب ممتاز جدا لدرجة كبيرة ولو كانت لي القدرة لجعلت كل الذين يدرسون الفيزياء يقرئونه اجباريا بدل الكتب البيداغوجية التافهة التي توزع عليهم ..لقد قال (هل وجود الجسيمة الأولية نهاية الطريق ؟ ابدا، انها بداية الطريق –الطويل – نحو بناء نظرية كل شيء).انا اعتقد ان كل الفيزيائيين الذين مارسوا معادلات الكم و مجال هيغز والنموذج المعياري للجسميات والنسبية ونظرية الاوتار الفائقة وطول بلانك ومعادلات شرونديجر .. مؤمنون بالله في اعماق انفسهم ..انه كون باهر لدرجة لا تصدق انه رائع ومدهش ومميز وليس عشوائيا .. ممتعا مسليا ممتازا غامضا مليئا بالاسرار مشوق مثير وكل الصفات الرائعة التي تجعلك متحمساً ..لذا لا غرابة في ان سمى كتابه (الكون الانيق (..انه ببساطة كذلك ..من مقال لي : بوزون هيغز : الرابط للمقال الكامل هنا :

  • Riku Sayuj
    2018-12-07 09:52

    To think I put all that effort to understand a discredited theory...

  • Rob
    2018-11-27 12:04

    AN INTRODUCTION BY WAY OF HYPERBOLIC SENTIMENT: The Elegant Universe is "The Bible" of superstring theory[*:].I close the covers of The Elegant Universe with powerfully mixed feelings. On the one hand, Brian Greene gives us a lucidly-written layman's-terms explanation for high-concept modern physics, providing an excellent survey of 20th century science and painting a vivid picture of a promising strategy for reconciling the discrepancies in the otherwise dominant theories. On the other hand, about half-way through the text, it devolves into (what feels like) a navel-gazing vanity project that fails to connect that promising strategy with the target audience (i.e., the layman that actually gives a damn about modern science).To be clear: the first third of the book is a remarkable accomplishment. Brian Greene is a cogent writer with a wonderful pedagogical streak that is able to produce a clear image of some otherwise hard-to-decipher concepts in modern physics. Because of The Elegant Universe, I feel like I now have a fairly good understanding of the core concepts underlying Einstein's theories of special and general relativity, and quantum mechanics (e.g., Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle). Greene is also able to give a decent explanation regarding how these theories break down when you try to "merge" them (e.g., like when you come up with "infinite energy" and/or "infinite mass" and/or "infinite probabilities" through calculations of black holes or the Big Bang).This first third of the book is very accessible, very enjoyable, and very informative. Engaging, fascinating, and extremely powerful.Somewhere during that potent 130-150 pages, Greene remarks (something to the effect of): You cannot be said to fully understand something until you can explain both its system and significance to a complete stranger. (Not a quote, but I'm sure you know what I'm getting at...)And with that statement does Dr. Greene undermine the remaining two-thirds of the book. After introducing string theory, after explaining that it is a strategy with the potential to marry relativity and quantum mechanics, after getting you (the lay-reader) excited that you too will have some insight into the critical significance that is superstring theory — he glosses over some math (which doesn't really feel like physics after that first 120 pages) and more/less asks you to "bear with me here, trust me..." EXAMPLE: after introducing the concept of strings, the text rushes into a discussion of 6-dimensional "curled up" Calabi-Yau manifolds without really giving a good way of visualizing that whole mess[†:]. EXAMPLE: after 2 or 3 chapters about string theory where Greene is introducing it and discussing how it might reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics, he starts to segue into reconciling aspects of string theory with itself — looping back (like its own subject strings) on itself in a perverse recursion full of mathematical adjustments and jargon. EXAMPLE: in the midst of discussing how this New Science, and where you expect it to loop back on the promised explanations for the Old Science, Greene veers off into a series of anecdotes about "this one time at Harvard..." and/or "once at Princeton we stayed up all night and..." — which really just seemed a little gratuitous.By the time I realized what was happening, my attitude was already tainted. Perhaps I could have extracted more of the science if my cynicism hadn't kicked in so virulently and so early on in the reading. Perhaps spending more time with the end-notes will prove fruitful. Or perhaps on a future, subsequent follow-up reading I will discover that I was right the first time and we have 150 or so pages of incredible science writing and the remainder is chintzy vanity project[‡:].RATED FOR HYPE: ★★★★★RATED FOR STYLE: ★★★☆☆RATED FOR SCIENCE: ★★☆☆☆---[*:] Let's hear it for faith-based science?[†:] This is partly me being overly critical of Greene's (in my opinion) cavalier treatment of the Calabi-Yau concepts immediately following their introduction. There are some end-notes and citations for further reading, and he does attempt to dedicate some space in the main text to the idea — but his "dumbing down" of the Calabi-Yau manifolds to the "ant in the garden hose" analogy just doesn't really address it with sufficient vigor. Not after the incredible work he did in the earlier chapters re explaining relativity and quantum mechanics. I suppose I may have been more satisfied with something along the lines of "you have your time dimension, your three 'regular' space dimensions, and then these other six are really dedicated to providing reference points to describing the shape and vibration of the string IN THE THREE DIMENSIONS YOU ARE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH" — but no such explanation was there. If that's even really what he might have meant.[‡:] Which I mean in the nicest possible way...? To be fair, Greene leaves plenty of room throughout the text to permit himself (and his colleagues studying superstring theory) to be "wrong". It reminds me of when Robert Wright hedges his bets in The Moral Animal, saying that the evolutionary psychology approach (as championed by himself, Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Robert Trivers, and others) is a strong one that explains a whole lot but you better be careful before you go painting too broad of a stroke with those kinds of theories... Greene seems to do similar hedging, admitting that aspects of superstring theory seem tenuous (esp. when you consider how many "adjustments" they perform while "fine-tuning" a given aspect of the theory(s)) and that they (as scientists) are wise to temper their enthusiasm, to not lose sight of goals like "experimental verification". But then there's Greene's enthusiasm — which can easily electrify the reader but also just as easily undermine all of that careful hedging.

  • Stephen
    2018-11-21 08:47

    4.0 to 4.5 stars. There is a great quote to the effect that "if you can't explain a subject in non-technical terms so that a lay person can understand it than you haven't really mastered the subject yourself." On that basis, it is clear that Brian Greene has DEFINITELY mastered the subject of general relatively, quantum dynanmics and string theory (at least to the extent present technology allows). For such a complicated and often "non intuitive" subject, Greene does an excellent job of laying out in understandable terms: (1) the evolution of special relativity into general relativity; (2) the basics of quantum dynamics; (3) the fundamental conflict between general relativity and quantum dynamics; and (4) the amazing development of string theory and (5) the prospects for string theory to be able to resolve the conflcit between general relativity and quantum mechanics and come up with a Unified Theory of Everything (the fabled TOE). Now even with Greene's fantastic explanations, once we got beyond the basics of string theory and onto such concepts as 10 "spatial" dimensions, mirror symmetry and Calabi-Yau manifolds, there were times when the subject matter was just difficult to grasp on an intuitive level. However, Greene was quick to point out that the reader (i.e., me) was not alone in that confusion and it did not prevent me from walking away with a much better understanding of these difficult topics. It also made me interested in learning more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

  • Szplug
    2018-12-05 10:49

    Greene's eminently readable attempt to explain the possibilities for string/superstrings to provide the linchpin for the long-awaited-and-desired merger of gravity with the two nuclear and electromagnetic forces into a Grand United Theory. Frankly, the entire idea of rolled up dimensions—of a universe containing perhaps ten, twelve, eighteen dimensions, of which we are only capable of perceiving four—is suitably mind-blowing and humbling at the same time; and although Greene's low-culture themed analogies that frequently pop-up to help elucidate the complex concepts he is trying to convey may irritate at times, he does a bang-up job in making it understandable without blotting the outlines in thick physiquese or mathematics. Surfer-Dude physicist Garrett Lisi submitted an Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything based upon the stunningly beautiful symmetry of Lie Groups as an alternative to String Theory a couple of years after the publication of Greene's follow-up The Fabric of the Cosmos; it will be interesting to see how Lisi's proposal affects the future of string/superstring theory as the most likely path towards that elusive group-wedding of the four forces. I believe that several physicists have now concluded that Lisi's theory doesn't hold up, but I'm intrigued by the rumblings I've encountered by others who consider string theory to be a corridor that is proving of a confining narrowness, one that has consumed a disproportionate amount of the energy from some of the top minds in this field in pursuit of a theory that more and more appears irreconcilably inelegant and complex for the unifying end that it is meant to achieve. I have some potentially stunning books on the shelf awaiting my attention—in particular, Lisa Randall's Warped Passages, Michio Kaku's Hyperspace, Michael Fayer's Absolutely Small, and Lee Smolin's The Trouble With Physics—all of which I have unfortunately neglected for some time now, but are ripe with the promise of immense rewards to the mind when their contents are finally consumed.Personally, one of the most stimulating moments in the The Elegant Universe was Greene's articulation of how we, as humans, are travelling through time at the speed of light; thus tickling my brain with the thought that light—immune to the mundane effects of forward-marching time—is a bridge towards an omnipotent godhead. If light is moving at the speed of light through space—not time—is it possible that its entire permutation from Big Bang through to Cosmic Deflation would be accessible in a single given moment of time, i.e, if some manner of consciousness—not necessarily as we conceive of it—was to exist at that level of configuration, would the entirety of past, present, and future—the ticking tenure that provides the structural frame for the playing out of human existence—be available? At temporal lightspeed, can any photon wave/particle duality be positionally known within Space-Time as it cannot to our Time-delimited minds? Would access to this particular modular level of existence—as alien as it may be to comprehend—be the beginnings of omniscience and the hierarchical understanding of how the universe plays out/was meant to play out/will play out? As an object approaches the speed of light, its mass becomes infinite—would the same exponential assault waylay ever-present light as it approaches the speed of time? Would fulgent awareness become infinitely sluggish or limited as it neared this clock-marked barrier? From the—for lack of a better word—point of view of Lightspeed, would there exist differing quantum pathways that wend throughout the four perceivable dimensions, and from a high enough level, will they appear identical at select points of chronological evolution? Thanks Brian, for zapping me like you did into further confused wonder.

  • Elyse
    2018-11-16 13:06

    My local book club picked this book for our non-fiction month. I've been a part of this group- the largest-best Bay Area Book club!!!!In the 5 years I been part of this group, I can't remember a more challenging book to fully understand. The superstring theory is 'taught' by Brian Green' for those of us with maybe a basic Physics level one course. I can't imagine understanding anything, without having had at least some High School or College physics. This book is not for everyone, yet it's Top Notch ....If you have a strong desire to read about The fundamental laws of the universe, how they are structured, then by all means, give this book a shot. I took soooo many notes, and I've still a dozen questions, yet the author does do an excellent job in explaining the new advances of the cosmos that have come to light during this last decade. The author explained over and over... So the lay person may understand that we must merge general relativity and quantum mechanics--and make use of string theory. It's the 'teaching' of the ways string theory appears which begins to get more challenging to comprehend. I've done my best... Yet hoping others in my book club might be able to fill in some holes which went way over my head.

  • Jack Thornsberry
    2018-11-24 07:00

    This book blew my mind countless times as I read through it, so much so that I could usually only read 10-20 pages in one sitting. I had physics in high school, watched Cosmos and tons of other programs on the universe/relativity/quantum physics etc. so I have always had an interest but not enough to have that be my profession - nor am I smart enough in that way. Books like this let you visit that world for a while and this author does a fantastic job explaining general and advanced physics, Einstein, etc with many real world examples. Trust me, your mind will be doing flip flops when he talks about time bending, space travel, etc. After he builds the foundation, he sets the stage to cover string theory which many believe will be the next great leap in figuring out why the universe exists and where is it going. Awesome read to keep your mind sharp.

  • Robin Wasserkaise
    2018-11-29 10:45

    This book presents the latest breakdown of empirical existance with string theory- it's really well written and it sugguest how the fundimentals of all existing things come together in a very similar way as our understanding of music (little vibrations). I love this subject because, where the goal of civilization is to appreciate life in some form of organized chaos, some well spoken theorists have the ability to put things into perspective in such a way that the world seems to teem with possibility. Food for thought if you read this:
Presentism holds that neither the future nor the past exist—that the only things that exist are present things, and there are no non-present objects. Some have taken presentism to indicate that time travel is impossible for there is no future or past to travel to; however, recently some presentists have argued that although past and future objects do not exist, there can still be definite truths about past and future events, and that it is possible that a future truth about the time traveler deciding to return to the present date could explain the time traveler's actual presence in the present.[5] This view is contested by another contemporary advocate of presentism, Craig Bourne, in his recent book 'A Future for Presentism', although for substantially different (and more complex) reasons. In any case, the relativity of simultaneity in modern physics is generally understood to cast serious doubt on presentism and to favor the view known as four dimensionalism (closely related to the idea of block time) in which past, present and future events all coexist in a single spacetime.

  • ayden
    2018-12-06 08:00

    I read this book while taking a course (for non-physics students) called Modern Physics in Perspective, which centered on string theory. I learned so, so, so much in this class & the book helped a lot. If you're reading this book unassisted, be aware that there are some very confusing sections that you'll need to read a few times. Sometimes his analogies are a bit too inane. Also, I've discovered that many physicists have an unhealthy obsession with their research pet projects- I'd advise that you ignore the sections on Calabi-Yau shapes entirely.These faults aside, The Elegant Universe is the only book about science that I have ever read from start to finish and enjoyed from start to finish. It'll blow your mind.

  •  مولاي أرشيد أحمدو
    2018-11-26 10:05

    كتاب ممتع إلى أقصى الحدودلا يتطلب منك معرفة عميقة بالفيزياءبل فقط يكفي الشغف حول معرفة هذا الكون الأنيق

  • AnaVlădescu
    2018-11-19 06:41

    Physics books. Can I understand them properly? No. Am I still absolutely fascinated by them? Yes. String Theory. Do I understand it properly? Hell no. Am I fascinated by it? To the last detail.

  • ΑνναΦ
    2018-11-24 09:39

    E' un Universo liquidoE' un Universo difficile, lavoro duro e destino incerto.Dopo Zygmut Baumann, ci voleva anche la fisica quantistica a toglierci ogni certezza, immersi in un cosmo che funziona come un mantice, si gonfia e si sgonfia (forse), e noi in mezzo, a vivere chissà, forse più vite, su più dimensioni, arrotolate come bigodini o srotolate come tappeti.Richard Feynman, guru della meccanica quantistica, disse “penso di poter affermare con sicurezza che nessuno capisce la meccanica quantistica”. Molto bene, a me qualcosa sembra di aver capito.Il bello di questo libro, molto elegante, è che è scritto così bene che ti sembra di capire tutto. Greene è bravo, conduce il lettore medio, non tecnico, mano per mano, esempi chiari e divertenti e ti fa capire. Poi, quando sei contento perché pensi di aver raggiunto il tuo scoglio su cui aggrapparti felice, in mezzo a tutte queste turbolenze quantistiche, ti spiazza dimostrandoti che non è così, del resto abbiamo capito che dobbiamo esser pronti a tutto: tutto è relativo (Einstein) e tutto è assai indeterminato (fisica quantistica).Forti di queste certezze incerte, colpisce il fatto che i fisici dei quanti nella visione cosmogologica arrivino a teorizzare cose postulate secoli fa dai filosofi Greci o dai corsi e ricorsi di Vico o dell'Univesro eterno e dei molti mondi di Tommaso Bruno. Forse scopriremo che la fisica coincide con la filosofia. O magari con la Metafisica. Buffo no?

  • Jenny
    2018-11-20 07:44

    The first few chapters are fascinating as Greene recounts the history of modern physics, its departure from classical, Newtonian understanding. Then, he moves into string theory, and I found the arguments and explanations harder to follow. As Greene wrote the book just a few years after the Second Superstring Revolution, it makes sense that the arguments aren't as well-developed as those describing theories and experiments perfected and refined over the past 100 years or so. I really enjoyed the last few chapters: one on black holes, one about cosmology, and the final chapter, entitled "Prospects," in which Greene discusses the implications of string/M-theory on future thought and the possible questions string/M-theory may be able to answer. Overall, I really liked this book. It took me a while to get through because of the subtlety of the arguments and the density of the subject matter (no pun intended), but it was extremely informative. I also enjoyed Greene's writing style, especially the examples/metaphors/analogs he presented the reader with for help in understanding the extremely subtle topics he discusses. The only thing missing for me from Greene (and from Hawking and K.C. Cole) is: why did the Big Bang happen when it did, and where did the materials constituting the singularity (or the "Planck-size nugget") come from? My only problem with non-Christian, scientific accounts. The physicists never do offer a possible explanation of the origins of the origins. I recommend this book to anybody interested in astrophysics, to fans of Greene, and to anybody looking for a book geared towards general readers that is more updated than Hawking's A Brief History of Time but that still offers insight into points that Hawking discusses in his famous book.

  • Genia Lukin
    2018-12-05 09:50

    I never really got the hang of String Theory. I find it awfully weird and almost nigh-unscientific. Not being a physicist, I try not to make judgments about it, since I clearly don't understand it one bit - at least on the math level! - but I have to say that Brian Greene didn't endear it to me.I also fervently found myself wishing for the Nth time that science books were not so firmly divided between "professional, terrifying math texts" and "written for people who never figured out the Theory of Relativity". I think we need "Science for the Educated Sci-Fi Reader" or something like that. As it is, unless you're Stephen Hawking, who pretty much has the right to do anything he liked, if you're trying to explain relativity to me, again, you will put me off.

  • Walaa
    2018-12-11 09:50

    رابط التحميل :

  • João Vaz
    2018-11-23 13:39

    Dear God, Will you ever allow us folks down here on Earth to come up with Einstein’s dream of a Theory of Everything (ToE)? The fact of the matter is that there are essentially two opposing theories upon which rests our knowledge of the universe: General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. That is, the world of the large and the world of the miniscule. But whenever we try to unify them, our calculations just fall short; or better, fall large!, for we bump into infinity. Oh wait!, this book has just told me that String theorists already have! They claim that all fundamental particles are composed of tiny vibrating strings of energy whose movement gives rise to all those different particles that we know of. And in so doing, not only do these strings fit into Quantum theory, but they're also able to accurately predict the whys and wherefores of the big bulks of matter, like those of stars and galaxies! TADÃÃN!BUT, not only are there five different versions to the theory, but also, and because we are talking about excruciatingly small objects, it is impossible to test it! Not really a theory is it? (daimn!) It shamelessly enters the realm of Philosophy… Oh those naysayers! Tell me of one thing that we take for granted today that hasn’t started as Cartesian doubt! You go get them my fairy little oscillating strings, which so happen to explain black holes! But back to you old man, you never really cease to surprise me! So you’re telling me that the universe is this big cosmic symphony whose musical notes are the sounds exuded by the movement of strings? Oh you shrewd mayster!, I always knew you had a bend for drama! With my heart in your stars, J

  • Silvia Sirea
    2018-12-14 08:59

    Ho sempre provato una forte curiosità nei confronti dell'universo. Sin da piccola, mi ponevo le più disparate domande sul mondo che ci circonda, sulle stelle, sui pianeti e sullo spazio infinito e mi divertivo ad immaginare le teorie più strampalate riguardo le leggi che governano l'universo. Purtroppo, nonostante questo, non ho una mente particolarmente adatta allo studio delle materie scientifiche e quindi non sono diventata, ahimè, una scienziata, ma almeno ora so cosa voglio fare nella mia prossima vita. L'universo elegante è un viaggio attraverso l'universo che conduce il lettore nelle regioni di spaziotempo più remote. Brian Greeene rende questo viaggio quasi una tranquilla scampagnata in compagnia di qualche amico. Attraverso l'impiego di metafore accessibili anche ai non esperti, riesce ad illustrare con semplici parole dei concetti che non avrei mai pensato di riuscire a padroneggiare. Oddio, non che ora li padroneggi perfettamente, ma almeno so quello che volevo sapere e, con mia grande sorpresa, mi sono accorta che alcuni concetti che credevo fossero pura fantascienza esistono davvero, il che per me è strabiliante. E' un libro che apre la mente e allarga gli orizzonti e mi sento di consigliarlo ai curiosi, a chi vuole scoprire a cosa ci ha condotto la scienza dell'ultimo secolo e cosa il futuro scientifico può riservare all'umanità.

  • Zaid
    2018-12-03 09:02

    Brian Greene had put all his efforts to write this book as much simple as he can and he succeeded to do so.The way he describes the technical terms in this book with such a great simplicity is really very appreciating.Several examples are also taken into account to profoundly explain some of the subtle concepts in this book.It takes us back to Relativity and then to Quantum Mechanics before proceeding to String Theory.It is hard to tell whether I believe in String Theory or not. There are ample evidences that proves this theory to be correct.but this theory is still in its premature form and due to its complexity, its hard to prove it experimentally.I learn many new things in this book and even made a notebook to prepare notes regarding the theory.I believe that time is not far enough when our physicist can finally prove whether The String Theory is really an Ultimate Theory of Universe or not.

  • Mohamed al-Jamri
    2018-12-13 11:39

    This is the first book by Brian Greene that I read. The first chapters were amazing and engaging, however later chapters about string theory were very hard for me to understand and I actually didn't finish the whole book, because I could not understand what I was reading.The author uses many metaphors to make his ideas simpler. He starts with a very easy to understand telling of history of scientific discoveries reaching to the theory of general relativity and quantum physics and the unification efforts. He maintains that string theory could be the one that finally unifies them and explain the number of particles we have and their specific masses and properties.My understanding of special and general relativity theories was greatly enhanced after reading it here as well as that of quantum physics. However when he got the details of string theory I was completely lost and gave up on it.

  • عبد الله
    2018-11-20 10:03

    من أفضل وأهم الكتب التي قرأتها في حياتي. الالقوانين الجديدة للجاذبية جعلت من العالم يغير من نظرته الكلاسيكية عن عالم الفيزياء و عملت على تغيير مفهومنا ونظرتنا للكون. نظرية الأوتار الفائقة مكنت الفيزيائيين الاقتراب من نظرية موحدة سميت -M هذه النظرية التي تسمى نظرية كل شيء و قد تفوقت على ميكانيكا الكم التي لم تدمج الجاذبية في حساباتها. نظرية -M لم تكتمل بعد لعدم مقدرة الفيزيائيين على تصورها في شكلها النهائي فمازال البحث طويلا ولكن بالمقابل دمجت القوى الأربع- الجاذبية . القوى الضعيفة . القوى القوية. القوى الكهرومغناطيسية. - لنقترب من معرفة كيف ولماذا خلق الكون؟

  • Majo's Library.
    2018-11-20 07:02

    Readers who have not discovered Greene should no waste one minute more!

  • Marius
    2018-11-19 12:57

    Disclaimer: I am not a physicist. I have a MSc in environmental sciences which is 20 years out of date.Brian Greene describes elegantly special and general relativity as well as important aspects of quantum physics in the first third of his book. It is worth its money for these first few chapters.Unfortunately, his writing about the five string theories and their meta-theory called M-theory is almost unreadable and loses its focus very rapidly. Brian Greene seems to be so intimately and unconditionally in love with string theories that there remains no hope for an objective assessment of their ability to stand up as a collection of scientific theories. As far as I understand, none of the string theories makes falsifiable predictions or suggests doable experiments compatible with today's technology.Greene admits by his own writing that string theories have not delivered what they have been invented for, in spite of intense research for more than 15 years (the book was written in the 90s'):- the seemingly arbitrary values of the standard model masses and force charges have not been explained- the number of possible implementations of the theories is so big that any specific real world observation can be explained by at least some of the myriad of possible solutions these thought models allow.In spite of these facts, the reader is invited to believe that string theories are the only way forward for physics in the 21st century. The main arguments I have retained are as follows: string theories are beautifully elegant. Hence, they must be true in some important and overarching way. And if the most clever mathematicians and physicists believe this, the not so gifted have no choice than to support their view.Well, I disagree.

  • ShamanaAli
    2018-12-07 07:57

    I have copious notes where I disagreed with the author. While I understand he is probably the leading public proponent of string theory, I felt that his oversimplification lead to some really problematic axioms and it was upon these shaky foundations that he tried to map out string theory. I'm afraid I think that the Theory of Everything (or Grand Unified Theory) will be articulated in a much more coherent way if one sets aside the supposition that is string theory. This may also be an oversimplification, but the theory strikes me as designed to be mathematically expedient, so while most theories are tested to find out if the equations work, this theory has the equations designed to work in the framework before it is even tested. Not my definition of true scientific work.

  • Wolf
    2018-11-22 09:40

    Dr. Greene, unfortunately, imagines himself to be a much better writer and expositor than he actually is. Far too much time is wasted on silly examples to explain his points; so much that the analogies not only break down but become absurd. These concepts are not very difficult. Dr. Greene fairly well crosses the line into talking down instead of explaining things.However, this book has some rather well laid out charts and diagrams and other visual aids. Importantly these come with a gracious degree of explanation. It almost makes up for the long-windedness.The universe & Dr. Greene's charts are elegant; Dr. Greene's writing is not.

  • Ammar
    2018-11-17 10:41

    كتاب رائع يحكي قصة الفيزياء الحديثة والحلم الكبير لانشتاين و كدا نظرية كل شيء او ما اسبح يعرف بنظرية ام و هي نظرية الاوتار لا يجب ان تكون قيزيائيا لتقرأ هدا الكتاب و تتدوق حلاوة النظر الى اقصى حدود الادراك البشري .... متعة كبيرة لا تفوتوها ... على فكرة هناك سلسلة من 3 حلقات بنعس العنوان " الكون الانيق" يمكن التفرج عليها لمن اراد حوصلة من لاغير كثير تدقيق

  • Omar Abdelaziz
    2018-12-15 08:40

    او اتفرج على السلسله اتعملت 2003 الجزء الاولالجزء التانىالجزء التالت