In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels ...Show synopsisIn a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery to reveal a universe of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself. Author lectures.Hide synopsis
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The book begins with a discussion and review of basic general relativity and quantum mechanics, which sets up one of the central problems of theoretical physics today: finding a theory that incorporates both quantum mechanics and relativity, since the two theories, as presently constituted, cannot both be completely accurate. Greene then proceeds to make the case for string theory, which many physicists today believe may be the answer the this problem. The book is written with colorful analogies and simple terms that anyone can understand. All of this being said, the book does relate to theoretical physics. If you are looking for a book that will explain in detail those theories, such as general relativity, which we "know" to be true, this is not the book for you. I very much enjoyed it, though, and anyone interested in the latest theories will as well.
This serves as a very good introduction to the inner workings of string theory, and its development and growth. However as the string theory is -as of writing- incomplete, and this book covers a lot of topics that may or may not be incorporated into the final theory. As I read this, I had to change my perception of this book from one that would help me describe string theory to my friends. This book serves more as a guide of current physicists thoughts into this area, and where physicists speculate the next breakthrough will be. We have seen other major theories undergo such substantial development through history, Newtonion mechanics, Relativity, QED and others. This is a book about another theory to join the list, its just not finished yet. We look foreward to the future developments in this subject, however, it may all be wrong.
I expected this book to require concentration and a pencil. After all I
am an electrical engineer and that is how I read my physics books, and
most technical books and magazine articles.
This book was not for the technically inclined but for the technically
interested. And for a few chapters, it was a nice review and a new
viewpoint to some topics.
Once we slid into the main topic (superstring theory), I had difficulty
believing that this was a good use of anyone's time, especially mine.
Finishing this book was like house to house combat, only once we
secured the town, I found there was nothing gained.
I am glad I did it, but I wouldn't do it again.
I don't recommend this book.
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