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

One of the most popular books rich with information and explorations into various theories that learners of Astrophysics will enjoy.

Never have I thought I'd be able to fully grasp the work and beauty of Physics, both classic and modern. Having re-kindled my mathematical interest, and my personal interest in Quantum Physics, this National Bestseller couldn't be passed up. After reading about Einstein's composition of his Unified Field Theory, this book writes about the one theory that likely combines both theories—Relativity and Quantum—altogether.

Author Brian Greene introduces the reader into a fool-proof dive into both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics—who and why they were layeth into the realm of Physics and what it's all about. During this introduction and comparison, I feel that Greene seems to have leaned over the Quantum Theory of things only giving modest respects to Relativity (they are both theories for a reason, so it's hard to say). It is then Greene talks about the history and development of Superstring Theory—vibrating string loops found deep in the atoms that make up the universe. If it's possible to split an atom, it may just be impossible to split a string; That means physicists have gone to the deepest end of the atom. Furthermore, you get to explore various dimensions beyond the third, requiring lots of brain juice to draw imaginatively. Thankfully, Greene provides some relatable, simple examples when bringing about his explanations of these various theories.

Along with learning about the behaviors of these strings, what their roles are in our universe along with the celestial bodies, you also get a brief account into Greene's work in his quest to publish a paper related to superstring theory, how his days went, how long it took to write the papers and who he worked with. It was like hanging out with him back at college, like you're rooting for him to get the papers done before the due date. On the last parts of the book are his points of view, reflecting on 'his' universe, the way it should run and what he hopes that science and physics can/will achieve in the future. He hopes that we continue to add rungs to the ladder so we may be able to reach for the stars. Excellent.

While I would recommend this to the layperson, I beg to differ. This book is best for those with a general, yet casual and basic, knowledge of the space sciences (Astrophysics, Astronomy, Quantum Mechanics/Physics, Relativity and Cosmology). There wasn't a lot of mathematical equations presented which, to the majority of you who dislike Math, should find this to be a breeze to read. Now I say it's not for the layperson because not everyone is scientifically aware nowadays. At the moment of this writing, there have been multiple shootings in various parts of the country, more Hollywood scandals and pro baseball team Houston Astros winning the MLB World Series Championship. How, then, can the average citizen be aware with the news going on about our Universe? Shouldn't we? I'd say yes.

Since I've gotten a basic, yet solid, grasp of Quantum Physics, this was a great read. I learned a lot, and also, I may never see an atom the same way again. Who would've thought atoms now have strings? Must be the perfect theoretical description of the threads contributing to the "fabric" of space. In that case, was the Universe in a hypothetical laundromat before it bursted out into existence? I'll just bet no physicist/cosmologist metaphorically tied the Universe's "fabric" with laundry. (It came to my mind as I wrote this review, since I just did my laundry few nights ago.)

I see this book as a gentle and friendly introduction—a tour—into Superstring Theory. Just when the average person is aware of both the theory of relativity and quantum physics, it's time to know about the theory that completes the sandwich of astrophysics. Greene makes mention that they've got ways to go but that doesn't mean there's a huge break before going back to work. Saying that, I want to take the time to give my respects and honor to all scientists of all kinds for their amazing work!

This is the first National Bestseller book ever reviewed here on The Seeds of Books! An excellent title I strongly recommend!





  • Excellent writing all throughout.
  • Enough information for both the layperson and students of the space sciences.
  • Reads both like a science website/blog and a conversation.
  • Also has its own documentary film with the same title.
  • None.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Title The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Author(s) Brian Greene

String theory, many physicists believe, is the key to the unified field theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Deftly uniting quantum mechanics and general relativity—the two pillars of modern physics—string theory declares that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe arise from the vibrations of one single entity: microscopically tiny loops of energy that lie deep within the heart of the matter.

In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Brian Greene relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind the search for the ultimate theory. Through the artful use of metaphor and analogy, The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated viscerally accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
Dedication "To my mother and the memory of my father, with love and gratitude"
ISBN 978-0-393-33810-2
Book Dimensions Width: 5.5″ (5 ½″)
Height: 8.25″ (8 ¼″)
Depth: 1.06″ (1 1/16″)
Page Count 464
Contents Preface to the Second Edition, Preface, [PART I: The Edge of Knowledge] - 1. Tied Up with String, [PART II: The Dilemma of Space, Time and the Quanta] - 2. Space, Time, and the Eye of the Beholder, 3. Of Warps and Ripples, 4. Microscopic Weirdness, 5. The Need for a New Theory: General Relativity vs. Quantum Mechanics, [PART III: The Cosmic Symphony] - 6. Nothing but Music: The Essentials of Superstring Theory, 7. The "Super" in Superstrings, 8. More Dimensions Than Meet The Eye, 9. The Smoking Gun: Experimental Signatures, [PART IV: String Theory and the Fabric of Spacetime] - 10. Quantum Geometry, 11. Tearing the Fabric of Space, 12. Beyond Strings: In Search of M-Theory, 13. Black Holes: A String/M-Theory Perspective, 14. Reflections on Cosmology, [PART V: Unification in the Twenty-First Century] - 15. Prospects, Notes, Glossary of Scientific Terms, References and Suggestions for Further Reading, Index
Manufacturing by Courier Westford
Cover Design John Gall
Cover image The Attik, NY
Book Design Chris Welch
Author Photograph © Dan Deitch
Published October 11, 2010
Publisher W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (https://wwnorton.com)
Copyright © 2003, 1999 by Brian R. Greene
Printed in United States of America
Book Format Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook
Quoted Reviews "Sets a standard that will be hard to beat." — George Johnson, New York Times Book Review

"As rewarding as it gets... a thrilling ride through a lovely landscape." — K.C. Cole, Los Angeles Times
Best Seller's List National Bestseller
Other Brian Greene received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar. He is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University.
Library of Congress
Cataloging-in-Publication Data
1. Superstring theories.
2. Cosmology.
I. Title.
CIP Number 98-25695
LC Control Number ????
LC Call Number QC794.6.S85G75  1999
DDC Call Number 539.7'258—dc21


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