The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate TheoryA new edition of the New York Times bestseller—now a threepart Nova special: a fascinating and thoughtprovoking journey through the mysteries of space, time, and matter. Now with a new preface (not in any other edition) that will review the enormous public reception of the relatively obscure string theory—made possible by this book and an increased number of adherents amongst physicists—The Elegant Universe "sets a standard that will be hard to beat" (New York Times Book Review). Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory 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. Today physicists and mathematicians throughout the world are feverishly working on one of the most ambitious theories ever proposed: superstring theory. String theory, as it is often called, is the key to the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Finally, the centuryold antagonism between the large and the smallGeneral Relativity and Quantum Theoryis resolved. String theory proclaims that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe, from the frantic dancing of subatomic quarks to the majestic swirling of heavenly galaxies, are reflections of one grand physical principle and manifestations of one single entity: microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Greene relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind twentiethcentury physics' search for a theory of everything. Through the masterful 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. 
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LibraryThing Review
User Review  Renzomalo  LibraryThingNot my cup of tea. I have the 1999 edition and had high hopes for gaining insights into the current state of universe, but it was not to be. What I did find was a somewhat selfaggrandizing tome on ... Read full review
LibraryThing Review
User Review  scottcholstad  LibraryThingGreene is an interesting physicist. I'm not sure many more "traditional" physicists would always agree with his ideas, but they make for interesting reading and thinking. This is a typical example and thus recommended. Read full review
Contents
Tied Up with String  3 
The Dilemma of Space Time and the Quanta  21 
The Essentials of Superstring Theory  135 
The Super in Superstrings  166 
More Dimensions Than Meet the Eye  184 
Experimental Signatures  210 
Quantum Geometry  231 
Tearing the Fabric of Space  263 
In Search ofMTheory  283 
A StringIVLTheory Perspective  320 
Reflections on Cosmology  345 
Prospects  373 
Notes  389 
Glossary of Scientific Terms  413 
427  
Other editions  View all
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the ... Brian Greene No preview available  2000 
Common terms and phrases
accelerated big bang billion black holes bosonic Calabi—Yau shape calculations Chapter circular dimension cosmic cosmological coupling constant discussed distance duality Edward Witten Einstein electromagnetic force electron elementary particles energy entropy equations experiment experimental extra dimensions fabric of space fact Figure five string theories framework fundamental Garden—hose geometrical Gracie gravitational force gravity imagine insights Kaluza light clock loops Mtheory mass mathematical measure messenger particle microscopic mirror motion Newton’s objects observers perspective perturbative photons physicists physics Planck length point—particle possible precise predictions principle probe properties quantum field theory quantum mechanics quarks radius realized relativity and quantum result scales second superstring revolution showed slit space dimensions spacetime spatial dimensions spatial fabric special relativity sphere spin standard model string coupling constant string vibrations Strominger supergravity superpartner superstring theory supersymmetry surface symmetry temperature theoretical theorists tiny tion two—dimensional understanding universe Vafa vibrational patterns warping wave Witten