- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (February 8, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375727205
- ISBN-13: 978-0375727207
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 521 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality Paperback – February 8, 2005
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“Send[s] the reader’s imagination hurtling through space on an astonishing ride. . . . He is both a skilled and kindly explicator. His excitement for science on the threshold of vital breakthroughs is extremely contagious.” —The New York Times
“The best exposition and explanation of early 21st-century research into the fundamental nature of the universe as you are likely to find anywhere.” —Science
“Perhaps the single best explainer of abstruse science in the world today. . . . Greene has a gift for finding the right metaphor.” —The Washington Post
“I recommend Greene’s book to any nonexpert reader who wants an up-to-date account of theoretical physics, written in colloquial language that anyone can understand.” —Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books
“As pure intellectual adventure, this is about as good as it gets. . . . Even compared with A Brief History of Time, Greene’s book stands out for its sweeping ambition . . . stripping down the mystery from difficult concepts without watering down the science.” —Newsday
"Greene is as elegant as ever, cutting through the fog of complexity with insight and clarity. Space and time, you might even say, become putty in his hands." —Los Angeles Times
“Highly informed, lucid and witty. . . . There is simply no better introduction to the strange wonders of general relativity and quantum mechanics, the fields of knowledge essential for any real understanding of space and time.” —Discover
“The author’s informed curiosity is inspiring and his enthusiasm infectious.” —Kansas City Star
“Mind-bending. . . . [Greene] is both a gifted theoretical physicist and a graceful popularizer [with] virtuoso explanatory skills.” —The Oregonian
“Brian Greene is the new Hawking, only better.” —The Times (London)
“Greene’s gravitational pull rivals a black hole’s.” —Newsweek
“Greene is an excellent teacher, humorous and quick. . . . Read [your friends] the passages of this book that boggle your mind. (You may find yourself reading them every single paragraph.).” —Boston Globe
“Inexhaustibly witty . . . a must-read for the huge constituency of lay readers enticed by the mysteries of cosmology.” —Sunday Times
“Relish this exhilarating foray into the alien terrain that is our own universe.” —Booklist, starred review
“Holds out the promise that we may one day explain how space and time have come to exist.” —Paul Davies, Nature
“Greene takes us to the limits of space and time.” —The Guardian
“Exciting stuff. . . . Introduces the reader to the mind-boggling landscape of cutting-edge theoretical physics, where mathematics rules supreme.” —The News & Observer
“One of the most entertaining and thought-provoking popular science books to have emerged in the last few years. The Elegant Universe was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The Fabric of the Cosmos deserves to win it.” —Physics World
“In the space of 500 readable pages, Greene has brought us to the brink of twenty-first-century physics with the minimum of fuss.” —The Herald
“If anyone can popularize tough science, it’s Greene.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Greene is a marvelously talented exponent of physics. . . . A pleasure to read.” —Economist
“Magnificent . . . sends shivers down the spine.” —Financial Times
From the Inside Flap
From Brian Greene, one of the world's leading physicists and author the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Elegant Universe, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way.
Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? From Newton's unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein's fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics' entangled arena where vastly distant objects can instantaneously coordinate their behavior, Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.
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Written as a further investigation that was begun with his book The Elegant Universe, in The Fabric of The Cosmos, Dr. Greene leads the reader on a expedition into the darkest corners of the universe exploring the fundamental building blocks of time and space, reality and imagination, and the arrow of time and why it appears to us to have but one direction. A String Theorist, Dr. Greene's explanations weigh heavily in that direction, but he does make inroads into other theories such as Loop Quantum Gravity and their position in the entire scope of research going on today.
As new experiments are conducted at facilities such as The Large Hadron Collider at CERN or at Fermilab in this decade, it will be interesting to see if Dr. Greene's hypotheses come to fruition or if entirely new paths may open in the search for a Unified theory of the quantum realm and Gravity. In the meantime, if you have an interest in Theoretical Physics, but lack the formal training necessary to understand it on a mathematical level, I recommend Dr. Green's book.
I've enjoyed his books very much and feel wiser, not stupider, after reading them -- not always the case when I finish a book meant to explain physics to the layman. Highly recommended. I only wish this was required reading for every liberal-arts student.
Greene's reliance on analogy was often frustrating. That kind of attempt to simplify was so incomplete that, rather than causing an "aha" of understanding, it caused me to think, "yes, but the analogy isn't the way things really are; what's the real story?"
As with many electronic book versions, one has to figure out just how modern the data and information are. I wanted something "cutting edge," but found that the book was written over a decade ago and, by checking the Web, found that some of the hypotheses have progressed. Before downloading science books, check the copyright date, not just the date of the electronic edition.
Many of the paragraphs are unmercifully long, filling whole pages (at least on my iPad).
All in all, though, a fine book, and the second of Greene's that I've read.
At this point, however, the book is a little darted. It is still a must read for anyone interested in the nature of reality or quantum theory.