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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(1 star). See all 38 reviews
on January 21, 2014
String theory and the concepts related to higher dimensions are wonderful areas of physics and mathematics on the frontier of human knowledge. Unfortunately, it seems the author is not versed at all in string theory, physics, or mathematics. I do not hold against him that he is a musician, and not a scientist (although it does make his complete lack of knowledge much more apparent), rather the fact that this book is cover-to-cover meaningless, worthless garbage. The fact that it's meant as a "popular science" book does not excuse this. String theory is completely misrepresented here. The most glaring problems:

First, though this isn't an error in and of itself but rather a serious warning sign, on a few of his Youtube videos where the author spends half of the video incorrectly describing the content of each dimension (and the second half in some rather...uninspired music) he has added commentary about "dangerous dissenters". No competent scientist should be calling attempts to correct them "dangerous dissent".

Second, he offers no scientific or methodological justification for what he writes in the book.

Third, he completely confuses the nature of the higher dimensions. The extra dimensions of string theory are not spacial dimensions that we are somehow "folding through", and the picture of the "n-cube" at the beginning of each video is not related even to that.

If you like string theory and want to get a real understanding of it, stay the hell away from this book. I cannot stress this enough. Not only will you be left in utter confusion by the complete lack of reason, but any information you somehow manage to retain will be completely incorrect and will not prepare you for a genuine study into string theory. If you really want to to understand it, brush up on your calculus and find something more serious.
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on October 18, 2009
Bryanton doesn't understand what a dimension is, so unfortunately this book a waste of trees. His exposition contains the logical flaw where the dimension 5 to 7 are a subset of the dimension 7 to 9 (he doesn't actually come up with a tenth dimension), that is he defines dimension 5-7 in anthropomorphic terms (ie related to personal lives) and defines them as orthogonal to all universes' probability spaces. As we are part of the universe our time lines are segments of, within and part of all universes' time-lines, so are obviously not orthogonal and independent, otherwise you would have to consider histories of planets and atoms as separate dimension to be logically consistent.

Bryanton is adept in the art of the pseudoscience, throwing in plenty of references to actual science that he obviously only understands superficially (else his book would not have these obvious flaws). The book is mainly full of "new-age" feel good philosophy and is accompanied by a very slick website - don't waste your dimensions :).
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on October 6, 2010
What worries me about this book is that to someone who has never encountered the subject matter of higher dimensions, this might seem plausible. If you are interested in this subject, there are a hundred other books by reputable scientists

Anyone who has taken even an introductory course on this subject would know from the outset this book is nonsense. The author (who is a composer, not a scientist) does not understand the difference between spatial dimensions and the temporal dimension. He misunderstands even basic string theory entirely. If you've watched the flash animation on his website, <tenthdimension.com>, know that his description and representation of two-dimensional life (a la "Flatland") is inaccurate even to the source material.

If you buy this, you will find yourself out $25 knowing you helped to fund a charlatan.
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on July 14, 2009
Bryant displays a science fiction-esque knowledge of higher dimensionality. There seems to be only mention of time as the 4d which isn't really relevant to string theory. Where is the talk of 4+ SPATIAL dimensions or a Feynman diagram or actual mathematics or elementary particles? Furthermore, to use the term string theory anywhere in the vicinity of this book is pretty egregious.

I wish real physicists would flame this guy more. Even a physics undergrad has a better grasp of the subject. If you're interested, I would recommend The Cosmic Landscape by Leonard Susskind who is actually a physicist. What a concept.
18 helpful votes
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on October 18, 2009
Bryanton doesn't understand what a dimension is, so unfortunately this book is a waste of trees. His exposition contains the logical flaw where the dimension 5 to 7 are a subset of the dimension 7 to 9 (he doesn't actually come up with a tenth dimension), that is he defines dimension 5-7 in anthropomorphic terms (ie related to personal lives) and defines them as orthogonal to all universes' probability spaces. As we are part of the universe our time lines are segments of, within and part of all universes' time-lines, so are obviously not orthogonal and independent, otherwise you would have to consider histories of planets and atoms as separate dimension to be logically consistent.

Bryanton is adept in the art of the pseudoscience, throwing in plenty of references to actual science that he obviously only understands superficially (else his book would not have these obvious flaws). The book is mainly full of "new-age" feel good philosophy and is accompanied by a very slick website - don't waste your dimensions :).
10 helpful votes
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on April 5, 2014
Bad book.

Bad Science.

I guess if you want to get stoned and think you're being philosophical and smart, read this. On second thought, no.
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on October 11, 2008
I didn't like this book because it's written by somebody with a pedestrian understanding of scientific method and logical rigor. Sort of like a book for the layman written by the layman (it does more harm than good). Byranton is out of his field here and it really shows.

To boot, the book is poorly written and incoherent. There's really no discernible pattern to Bryanton's thoughts. Not to mention the poetry/songs in the back of the book are just plain goofy. I mean, honestly, what was Byranton thinking?
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on June 1, 2007
This book is not about dimensions at all (based on the definition of the word). If it were a collections of poems, I would have no gripe, but it pretends to be a popular science book. It makes assertions about the way things are, and is bundled with Brian Greene's "The Fabric of Cosmos", so I'm going to treat, and criticize it as such.

I'm going to briefly explain what dimensions are, and then show why statements such as "all possible histories of all possible universes are a point in ten-dimensional space" make no sense.

The a geographical location on earth can be described by two coordinates -- longitude and latitude. So the surface of a sphere is a two-dimensional entity. Most non-mathematical people agree with the first statement, and disagree with the second. They say "why, isn't the earth three-dimensional". That's true, but the *meaning* of the first two statements is exactly the same. When something can be described using two independent coordinates, that something has two dimensions. Our everyday experience simply makes us associate the word "two-dimensional" with the idea "flat", thus the intuition; but in mathematics, such associations don't apply. The word "two-dimensional" has a very explicit meaning, referring to the number of independent directions.

Consider a plumbing pipe. Its surface also has two dimensions, because from any given point you can either go along the pipe, or across. The direction across is very short -- if you crawl along it, you'll quickly come back to where you started. It wraps like the pacman screen. All the additional dimensions that physicists introduced are of this type and have a "pipe circumference" of about 1.6×10^-33 centimeters (that's thirty three zeros after decimal point). When you go along those dimensions, you come back quickly indeed! The result is much closer to zero than to infinity.

Each pixel on your screen is described with five independent variables: x,y,r,g and b (the last three being the color). So your screen shows you a 2D slice of a five-dimensional space. If each pixel could also taste differently, for example, bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and umami, the underlying space would now be ten-dimensional. So much for "all possible histories of all possible universes".

One conclusion is that the success of this book is due to the fact that some people simply cannot tell the difference between, say Hawking's popularization of black holes and Bryanton's statements like this one: "for us, a point in the seven-dimensional space is Infinity". Both sound vaguely poetical, but underneath, one is sense, while the other is nonsense.

The author not only has no qualifications to write on the subject, he grossly misunderstands the very term he used in the title.
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on March 1, 2007
I bought the book, because I am a graduate student in string theory and was curious about "new" ways of thinking in ten dimensions. I knew the author of the book was actually a musician (some research with google was required for that), but so is Brian May of Queen, and his book "BANG - THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE" is very well-written. Well, I couldn't be more wrong. Whereas Brian May studied physics (and is currently doing his long-lost PhD), Bryanton has never touched a scientific article, let alone stood near the mathematics required to grasp them. All his "knowledge" comes from science fiction (which he uses as genuine "references" for his wild ideas), popular science books (Greene, Kaku and Randall) and Scientific American.

Although the book is not intended to be a discription of "real physics", as he points out in the introduction, his ideas on ten dimensions and the alledged connection to string theory and the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics couldn't be stated more explicitely and couldn't be more wrong. The many world interpretation 'assumes' multiple universes in which all possible quantum processes do happen. Bryanton thinks these multiverses are in the dimensions 5 to 10. Moreover, our third spatial dimension is merely the thing "we fold through" to go from one place on a surface to another, which are not directly linked. If he is referring to the holographic principle, he's wrong there as well. Physically and mathematically, what he claims about space and time is absolute bullocks, if I may use the expression. The first chapter is exactly what is shown on his website and the rest is just a filler in which he tries to explain the ideas of quantum observation and its relation to philosophy, poorly. There is absolutely no (scientific) connection to string theory or whatsoever, except that the number 10 and the word dimensions are in the same sentence. The eleven dimensions of M-theory are in his view superfluous.

The book is perhaps intended to be scientifically and philosophically provocative, but in fact it is scientifically incorrect and at most philosophically boring. If you really want to know something about string theory and modern developments on a non-technical level, buy The Elegant Universe or The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene, Hyperspace or Parallel Universes by Michio Kaku, or Warped Passages by Lisa Randall, and your money will be well-spent. Other ideas on quantum gravity can be found in Lee Smolin's "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity". For the mathematical inclined reader (as Greene would call it in the notes), Penrose's "The Road to Reality" could be interesting, which is a brilliant mathematical exposé of theoretical physics.

Moreover, because the author does not fully understand quantum physics, his explanations are even for scientists hard to follow, because they don't seem logical. For non-scientists, I cannot recommend this book either, since I don't think it will help you in any way: you probably won't understand the science and if you do understand what the author says, you understand the wrong thing.
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on March 8, 2007
This is not a serious treatment of string theory, but a fabricated theory will little to no scientific background. The author's approach is entertaining, but totally off-base and a dis-service to the true string theory field of study. This book is a borderline hoax and I feel dumber for having actually read it. This book will not be donated to the local public library, but thrown in the trash so others won't be poluted by it's misguided ideas. The author should stick with writing music!
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