The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

The Elegant Universe

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 smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrat...

Details The Elegant Universe

TitleThe Elegant Universe
Release DateOct 11th, 2010
PublisherW. W. Norton & Company
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Physics, Astronomy, Popular Science

Reviews The Elegant Universe

  • Manny
    [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...
  • Marvin
    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...
  • Alisha
    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...
  • Manuel Antão
    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.The Kabbalah: "The Elegant Universe - Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory" by Brian Greene(Original review, 2001)The Kabbalah also describes 10 dimensions and beings that inhabit them. Perhaps these beings are real and at certain levels of dimensional perception they have already seen and experienced these advancements in human history like a child bei...
  • Riku Sayuj
    To think I put all that effort to understand a discredited theory...
  • Daniel Clausen
    For most of my life, physics and the general sciences have seemed beyond me. At the same time, I've been lucky enough in high school and university to have instructors who are willing to let me "give science a try" in a not threatening way. This book is one such attempt to allow ordinary people to give science a try. In this book, you'll get a crash course in physics as an evolving subject, from the theory of gravity, to special relativity, to ge...
  • Rob
    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 ...
  • Stephen
    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"...
  • Elyse Walters
    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 phys...
  • Szplug
    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 t...
  • Jack Thornsberry
    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 fantasti...
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    ‘The Elegant Universe’ by Brian Greene is a general introduction to cosmology and string theory. It is a beautifully written book! However, it is not for beginners. I think some classes in physics or cosmology, or a long-time subscription to a magazine like New Scientist or Science News would be a necessary educational background before reading this book. So. As far as I can tell, the book is a five-star read in clarity and expert knowledge.F...
  • ayden
    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 w...
  • Ana
    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.
  • Robin Wasserkaise
    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 su...
  • Jenny
    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 o...
  • Genia Lukin
    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 "wr...
  • João Vaz
    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!, fo...
  • Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
    Read this sometime in the aughts. It was a down to earth presentation of a very esoteric theory. I like Greene's style of exposition and got a better (for all intents and purposes) layperson's understanding of the subject. Good stuff.
  • Alex Zakharov
    Picked this one up in preparation for an event with Brian Greene. Written over 15 years ago, it is missing the latest developments and consensus, which seems to be that the original vision for String Theory (ST) as a TOE didn’t pan out, yet it is still the only TOE we got. It's a bitch we can’t test it, and a shame we can’t find the shape of the Calabi-Yau manifold that corresponds to reality that we live in, but otherwise ST is quite beaut...
  • Marius
    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. B...
  • Mohamed al-Jamri
    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 ...
  • Zaid
    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...
  • Shamana Ali
    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 th...
  • Wolf
    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 visu...
  • Majo's Library.
    Readers who have not discovered Greene should no waste one minute more!
  • AndrewP
    This book covers most of the basics of Physics theory. Relativity, quantum physics and then string theory. As the authors specialty is string theory about 50% of the book is dedicated to this subject. I admit that there were some concepts that I had a hard time understanding as there is no easy way to make the subject relateable to everyday experiences. Almost all of string theory is math driven and all the discoveries are just the relationships ...
  • Omar Abdelaziz
    او اتفرج على السلسله اتعملت 2003 الجزء الاولالجزء التانىالجزء التالت
  • Bettie
    Read it twice now - I love it even though I don't understand it all, the snippets I do 'get' are wowsicles.
  • Hamid
    This was a fascinating book about the prospects of string theory and how it may be the ultimate theory that gives us a complete picture of reality. Mathematically speaking, the theory (or rather the hypothesis) seems to be flawless. However, it's never been experimentally proved. The reason is obvious. The strings are so tiny and hard to find if they exist. Even our most powerful atom smashers and super colliders can't produce them. Brian Green s...