This book brings you up-to-date on the latest in cosmology theory. The author is clear enough for the non-scientist to follow most of what he's saying, without watering down the
complexities. Also, unless you have some kind of prejudice against people who accentuate the letter "s," you'll have no problem enjoying the author's narration of this book. I think most people will enjoy his reading.
Having this read by Brian Greene himself is a very nice touch. The concepts and principles are very well laid out. The concepts can get deep and there are a lot of implied assumptions and thought exercises. But the topic is founded on assumptions and thought exercises.
Highly recommend reading if only for the accepted pronunciation of various mathematical and science terms.
Brian Greene (The Elegant Universe; The Fabric of the Cosmos) in The Hidden Reality approaches the question of alternative universes. Is our universe the only universe? The short answer for Greene is “no” and readers will be rewarded for reading this book for his longer explanation. Each Chapter considers an alternative approach to understanding the universe; parallel worlds, quilted multiverse, inflationary multiverse, string theory, Brane and Cyclic multiverses, the landscape multivedrse, and the quantum multiverse. For me, the most helpful chapter dealt with string theory. I thought started this book thinking I would have to set it aside pretty quickly, and made it through even string theory. If you have taken on Greene before, this volume was more approachable than the others. Anyone can benefit from a reading of this work. I came away with absolutely nothing that would help me in my everyday life, but very stimulated by the ideas saturating this volume. I hope that Greene will give us more soon. The author's own reading of this book is excellent.
I have long been a fan of Brian Greene and his skillful attempts to bring extremely difficult topics in physics within the general understanding of a non-mathematical audience. I thought both The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos were tour de forces of both lucid and entertaining writing, and both were rich with information not easy to absorb in another form or from another writer. Now along comes The Hidden Reality. Now we have Brian Greene tackling arguably a far less known or understood, and in many ways far-fetched topic: multiple universes. Is our universe the only one, or “all there is”, (i.e. the meaning of “universe”), or is everything we have ever observed or conceived of existing only one of a multitude (perhaps an infinite number) of such universes? By taking on such a topic in the first place, Greene is upping the ante quite a bit, even in comparison with discussions of topics like string theory.
At this point, I begin to take issue with his approach. I can see that Brian chose to “put out there” a panoply of wild ideas proposed by others, without passing judgment on whether they are right, wrong, or just plain ridiculous. In particular, I have problem believing that the “quantum multiverse” of Everett, the simulation multiverse or the everything (mathematical) multiverse are more than human-inspired fantasies.
I find the idea of a multiverse in general very appealing and reasonable, as I could never accept the “fact” that a single Big Bang, before which there was “nothing” started it all. Brane collisions or Big Bang like bubble formations within a much larger overall field of some sort make more sense. It makes sense that our universe is neither special as being the only one in time or in “the space of spaces”. But it’s going out on a limb to “know” that the landscape in which they exist is infinite in time or spatial dimensions. Greene has written a thoughtful and provocative book that will stimulate lively discussion.
College physics book.
I was inspired to stop listening about the time I got to chapter 7.
First, I love Brian Greene. I've seen his documentaries and have always found the fascinating. His views on parallel dimensions are inspiring and entertaining, especially when he gets into debates with other physicists. I just don't think I'm smart enough for this book. It's a subject I really enjoy learning about, but it is presented in some very complicated ways in this book. I do realize that this is a complicated subject, by the way. It just lost me and never really came back around. If you are more experienced with the math and harder to understand concepts, you would really enjoy this book. I just don't feel like he dumbed it down enough for me. I'll keep it on file just in case I get smarter one day.
Not since I was a little kid have I had a description of existence's "bigness" illustrated to me in such a way that it made my heart skip a beat... until this book. Listening to the author speak about the bizarre, extrapolated real-world implications of mathematical constructs that may well be accurate gave me a sense of wonder that I haven't had since I was a child reading fiction about magic. Only this time... it's (maybe) REAL!
At times I found myself going back and listening to a piece over and over again mainly because the author had a tough time conveying the piece of science (or message). He also had a hard time enunciating "cosmological constant"; and he had to read it out a few hundred times which made it that much more painful to listen to. Would have rather had someone else (maybe a professional) narrate the book.
I am a "Life is Awesome! Strive to be Worthy of it." student of life kind of guy. Feeding on Chaos and Empowering the Good. Group Hug!
This is a tough book to get through. I feel like Brian Greene is trying to add drama and excitement where none needs to be. Or maybe he just wants to wow the readers/listeners with is amazing vocabulary of descriptive words. I think Brian has some great ideas however I feel he tiptoes around the points he is trying to make in his attempt to keep everyone (that may not agree with him) happy . He touches all the bases without really committing to the points I believe he is trying to make, playing instead in the land of innuendos.
I realize that in today's world nothing is %100% solid and almost anyone who puts all their eggs in one basket is going to be scrutinized. But that is the price of a dream or a belief. This is also the fuel used to motivate others to prove a theory right or wrong. Progress will never be made one way or the other if someone doesn't take a stand. Whether you are proved right or wrong, progress was made. I realize that getting proved wrong isn't something anyone would like to experience. But... I don't know, I have listened to this book several times, awed by Brian's writing skill and vocabulary, but all his key points are diluted and spread across the whole book in innuendos that I believe he did intentionally to play it safe.
For creativity I would give this 5 stars, but for information.... Not sure, Still thinking. :)
If you have an inquisitive mind even without a strong science background, the concepts presented are mind scrambling! If we understand that our current limited understanding of the beginnings of existence is limited and short-sighted, then this book will give insights into what the smartest people in this field believe is either true or at least very possible. It's not a quick and easy read. But, it is so worth the effort.
The constantly evolving understanding of past, present and future.
The explanation of things was clear. I love physics, but my brain has a hard time absorbing science sometimes. Things have to be explained clearly for me. Brian Greene has done that very well here.
I just had a hard time getting past the author's narration. Some of his pronunciations were too much for me to get past, and he tended to slur some words together, which doesn't make a good performance or listening experience for me. I'm fairly picky about the narration of audiobooks, though, so this will probably not bother most listeners.