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Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe Revised ed. Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0385477819
ISBN-10: 0385477813
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Recently, the "superstring" theory, which asserts that all physical matter consists of extraordinarily minute vibrating strings, has been touted as the route to the long-sought unified theory of forces; some proponents call it a "theory of the universe" that will bring fundamental physics research to a closure. The first author of the present book is a researcher in the field who offers here one of the earliest superstring presentations for lay readers. The beginning chapters offer a not-very-good history of early 20th century physics, but the remainder of the work becomes livelier and more convincing as it approaches Dr. Kaku's own area of expertise. On the whole this is a fairly successful introduction to a new and exciting scientific area. Jack W. Weigel, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`he does a pretty decent job of explaining some of the truly mind-boggling ideas now being kicked around by physicists: eleven-dimensional superstrings, membranes in sub-sub-atomic space, mathematical super-symmetry ... But by managing to tie up all this heavy stuff to the real-life people who dream it up, Kaku and Thompson make it an absorbing read ... after reading this book, you should be able to impress your mates by having an opinion of your very own.' Robert Matthews, Focus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Revised ed. edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385477813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385477819
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Angela Knotts on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you have even the slightest interest in theoretical physics, astronomy, or cosmology, READ THIS BOOK. Michio Kaku continues with "Beyond Einstein" in the proud tradition of its predecessor, "Hyperspace;" I read it as a sophomore in high school and couldn't put it down, and "Beyond Einstein" was no different. No prior knowledge of physics or mathematics is assumed; all you need is curiosity about how the world around you works. It is well-written and easy to understand, with just enough history to set the reader up for the science. This book will absolutely DAZZLE YOU!
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Format: Paperback
This isn't Kaku's best book-its one of his earlier efforts and his writing skills have gotten quite a bit better since then. However I still recommend this book. At the time I read it, I was studying electrical engineering in college and one day I ran into a friend in the student union. He started talking about all this physics stuff he was reading and how it was blowing his mind. It was like he had been through a religious conversion. He promised to let me borrow the book and it was Kaku's Beyond Einstein. A very easy read, Kaku got me hooked on physics right away, exposing me to ideas like extra dimensions and grand unified theories of particle physics I had never heard of in my engineering studies. He follows the standard historical treatment, talking about Maxwell, Einstein and the development of quantum mechanics. While it is a bit "breezy", its thoroughly enjoyable reading filled with historical antecdotes and nice descriptions of Einsteins spacetime warps. Then after the big bang he heads into his favorite topic, talking about extra dimensions and string theory. I was so hooked by this I began buying up every pop physics book I could find and soon changed my major from electrical engineering to math/physics. After reading Kaku engineering actually seemed mundane. Anyway, like I said this isn't Kaku's best book because his writing style has matured and he writes a lot better now. But the book is a gem that I recommend to those interested in science.
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Format: Paperback
This rambling survey of modern particle physics and cosmology reads well, but ultimately one has to ask, "where's the meat?" Granted, these topics are so esoteric and abstract that trying to relate them to everyday experience is nigh impossible, but a few authors (e.g, Richard Feynman and Steve Adams) have been able to accomplish this. Kaku flits from one subject to another, reciting a canon of gee-whiz observations (such as John Wheeler's suggestion that there may be only one electron in the universe, traveling back and forth in time), but he offers no logical structure upon which these conjectures are based. The book reads more like a collection of fables and fairy tales than a scientific treatment.
BEYOND EINSTEIN could arguably be recommended for those who have never done any reading on particle physics whatsoever, but for those who have already looked into it, the book will probably disappoint.
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Format: Paperback
Although not as well written as, 'Hyperspace,' Michio Kaku has put complicated aspects and terms of cosmology and quests for unified field theories into a simple, easy to follow book by using many similies and metaphores. The book totally avoided explaining the concept of superstring theory, but instead it gave a lot of information that lead up to it. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dr. Kaku's new book because it gave lots of information about different theories that lead to superstring theory, such as: special relativity, general relativity, Maxwells theories, Newtons theories etc. The book also grasped the concept of understanding the beginning of the universe before and after the big bang, although not going into it in much scientifical detail. However, the big bang is totally theoretical and hard, infact impossible to explain omnisciently. The book has some diagrams; resultingly, making the comprehension of some ideas much easier. Dr. Kaku is indeed capable of better work, (not that this isn't good) he is by far one of the best autors of the understanding of space, in my opinion the only better autor is Steven Hawking himself. Dr. Kaku is an inspirational role model to me and I hope others agree. His books can be read by anyone from elementary school students to top physicicists, due to the simplification of the terms of thought. The only people that I don't recomend this book to are the people totally interested in the science and detailed decriptions of superstring theory. Otherwise a Must to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
I really liked this book. It found it easier to understand (and less gee-whiz) than Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe (paperback and CD). Kaku and his co-writer presented a very clear description of what hyperspace would look like to four-dimensional creatures such as ourselves. (This was the first clear layman's description I have read.) I only wish I understood better the quantum mechanics that "vanquished" Newton's and Einstein's propositions about gravity in very small spaces; perhaps some drawings would have helped. In addition, perhaps a chart or diagram of basic sub-atomic particles would have helped.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the book. Thompson's co-writing makes it intelligible to lay persons such as myself. The one element that Kaku leaves out is whether string or superstring theory is "testable." In dimensions of the size of 10^-18 cm, perhaps we cannot really make testable predictions, as Greene asserts in his book and CD.
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