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Showing 1-10 of 397 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 923 reviews
VINE VOICEon October 19, 2016
A casual discussion on a very complex topic. I'm about 2/3 way done. I'll say this.. this books is as well written as can be for such an abstract topic. I'm writing this review before finishing the book since I'm afraid at my pace, by the time I'm done, the theories, and these are theories only, discussed may have changed. To a complete non-scientific person like myself, this book seems written in a foreign language, for a different species. One much smarter than me. But at a pace of 5 pages or so per reading session, I'm slowly digesting it. And so far it's a worthwhile read...or punishment as I some times feel.
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on May 30, 2016
Brian Green is one of the easiest of the serious physicist writers to follow. This book is long, but packed with info, and fully readable by most anybody (no math to speak of). He is exceptionally good at explaining and illustrating the concept of many-dimensions, and even illustrates what (if you use your imagination) they may "look" like. As with most respected physics-oriented books aimed at non-scientifically-trained readers, you'll learn more about "what is" current theory than you will understand about how physicists got there.
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on February 28, 2016
Brian Greene is one of the leading physicists in cosmology and String theory. He explained the most difficult theories of Einstein relativity, string theory and multiverses in a very simple words. He drew many day to day examples to explain difficult concepts, like space curvature and many others, till we not only understand it but feel it.
The String Theory is very difficult to understand since it tries to bridge the gap between macrocosm and the microcosm of the quantum physics. Greene made it very accessible to us. Still String theory is not complete and conclusive, it is work in progress. The way it is explained made me convinced that it is the ultimate theory which Einstein was looking for.
The scope of the book is huge, many technical terms, a lot of detailed notes and detailed history of the beginning of the theory tens of years ago. After I red the book I feel the need to read it again and read all Greene's books. This is a must read book.
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on March 18, 2016
It takes some good visualization abilities on the part of the reader, but the author does manage to give good insight into some very complex topics without math. Background math and other technical details are in end notes for many topics if you want to delve that deep.

I was also pleased to see that it's not just a book on string theory. The author also gives a very good historical background on relativity and quantum mechanics as well as the competing theories for unifying the two.
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on August 27, 2016
It's not easy to write a book about such a technically demanding subject for a general audience, and get the ideas across without the mathematics that supports them. The author works hard to accomplish this and, for the most part, does a good job. However, his line of argument, that string theory potentially can explain the universe at all scales, pushes the bounds of believability, at least for this reader. This book isn't easy reading, but I learned a lot from it and would certainly recommend it to anyone who would like to find out what string theory is about.
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on March 27, 2011
Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe was a national best seller and for me an interesting book. I bought The Elegant Universe to try to understang String Theory. I'm not a physicist with only one physics course taken. I've read the book A Brief History of Time by Stephan Hawking ( 4 stars, but a difficult read in the later chapters, a little about String Theory... see my review). The Elegant Universe is the first book I've read mainly about String Theory.

The first 1/3 of The Elegant Universe was spectacular....5 stars. Brian did a great job of explaining Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and General Theory of Relativity for large scale items of the universe and Quantum Mechanics for the very microscopic scale. We see the difficulty all the top scientists have had (including Einstein) to combine these theories into a universal law explaining the total universe that takes into consideration the week forces, strong forces, electromagnetic and gravitational forces. No one has been able to do it.

The next 2/3 of the book was a more difficult reading. I still don't totally understand String Theory ( I think few people do). Brian Greene did everything he could to try to have String Theory explain both Einstein's Relativity theory for the large and Quantum Mechanics for the incredibly sub atomic small in one complete packaging trying for the grand prize Law that would tie in everything to explain the function of the entire universe.There is a lot of speculation and little proved. Brian even says we don't have the technology today to totally prove String Theory and make a Universal Complete Law. It may take decades and decades if ever. I still can not totally believe String Theory but will keep an open mind as I have not read anything else that combines the results of the theories of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Its hard to envision trillions and trillions of one dimensional microscopic strings with incredible strength vs point objects.Plus thrown in the vibrational frequencies of the strings themselves. Then there must be at least 10 dimensions for String Theory to work. Deep, deep stuff to believe. So far no way to prove it and just a fantastic idea shown to try to achieve the total Universal Law.

First 1/3 of book 5 stars, later 2/3's 3 stars. Recommend this book but the later chapters are a little hard to understand. The Elegant Universe was a major Nova Special on PBS. I'm going to try to get a copy of that special, maybe it would help on String Theory understanding.

Brian Greene a good author/physicist taking on a difficult subject. I purchased another book by Brian Greene, The Fabric Of The Cosmos and look forward to reading it.
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VINE VOICEon November 25, 2015
This book provides the essence of string theory, superstring theory and M-theory. The book starts by covering Einstein's Relativity and Quantum Field Theory and why the two conflict. String theory purportedly connects the two although the author, in my opinion, clearly doesn't identify how it does. Also, apparently, at least as of the writing of this book, string theory has not had a major proof that it is on the right track. There is no confirmation proof that this is an accurate theory through experiment, etc. for a theory that has been around for about 30 years. In contrast, Relativity was proven to be on the right track with 5 years of its publication when Eddington's observation found that light did curve around the sun.

In spite of that, this is an interesting book, from Euler's B-Formula to Calabi-Yau spaces, as a math major, I found these concepts to be intriguing. Also, the author's description of the difference of mathematicians and physicists was enlightening. The examples that the author provides also make this book somewhat easy to understand. However, I only recommend this book for someone very interested in this topic.
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on December 6, 2016
Brian Greene is eloquent and does a great job of laying out complex phenomenon in simple terms. The book tries to convince you on String Theory and how it unifies Quantum Mechanics with Relativity. Get yourself a copy and get your mind blown.
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on July 13, 2000
I started reading books like this when I was quite young -- 13. I started with _Schrodinger's Cat_ and moved on to _A Brief History of Time_, and then started taking physics courses to get more information.
However, all of this string theory should be new, even to undergrad college students. Most college physics professors will only teach or even briefly touch upon what is 100% confirmed. String theory is fascinating (if not confirmed) -- but you probably wont find it in a run-of-the-mill classroom.
The author presents his information in a very convincing manner. Another reader said "facts-about-to-be-proved" or somesuch. This is true. I find no reason to disagree with his methods of explaining this theory and am rather glad that he comes across like he does.
The book is not an _easy_ read -- I've had quite a few college physics courses and I found myself struggling towards the end -- but it is a worthwhile read for anyone who understands general relativity and/or quantum mechanics and would like to understand where the two of them meet.
I would recommend the book to anyone.
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on January 15, 2017
Fantastic, eye opening theories that showed me we have a long way to go to understand 'How things really work together'. Fascinating!
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