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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory | [Brian Greene]

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.
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Publisher's Summary

In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, one of the world's leading string theorists peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

Brian Greene uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to illustrate the beautiful yet bizarre realities that modern physics is unveiling.

Dazzling in its brilliance, unprecedented in its ability to both illuminate and entertain, The Elegant Universe is a tour de force of science writing-a delightful, lucid voyage through modern physics that brings us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.

©2003 Brian Greene; (P)2008 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The Elegant Universe is compulsively readable.... Greene threatens to do for string theory what Stephen Hawking did for black holes." (New York)
"[Greene] develops one fresh new insight after another...In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, The Elegant Universe sets a standard that will be hard to beat." (George Johnson, The New York Times Book Review)
"[An] important book.... The Elegant Universe presents the ideas and aspirations-and some of the characters-of string theory with clarity and charm." (Scientific American)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (537 )
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Overall
4.3 (255 )
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3 star
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Story
4.2 (253 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Highland Park, IL, United States 06-11-11
    Michael Highland Park, IL, United States 06-11-11 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book - You Need Understand Physics"

    I am a former physicist and I listen to books to and from work as a professional photographer. There was a lot to learn if you have not kept up with quantum mechanics. I had to back it up 10 min or so every so often as my brain could not take in all the information at the speed it was given. The guy knows his stuff and puts it in logical order but you can't (I can't) grasp it as fast as he speaks it, especially when you are listening to it instead of reading it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pauli 07-29-14
    Pauli 07-29-14
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    "Easy listening about the string theory"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The end of the book goes maybe a bit too much into the details of certain aspects of m-theory. Insted the book could pull everything together with some simpler way.


    What was most disappointing about Brian Greene’s story?

    The explanations get a bit hazy towards the end of the book.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The book should maintain its clear and elaborate level till the end.


    Could you see The Elegant Universe being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I will be listening the first half again. It was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolas Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 07-05-14
    Nicolas Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 07-05-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Exceptional"

    Excellent book, easy to read. It becomes difficult at the end but you would have benefited a lot from it. Highly recommended if you're interested with physics, universe, etc..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Serge Geraardsbergen, Belgium 11-06-12
    Serge Geraardsbergen, Belgium 11-06-12

    Don't like to read it myself :-)

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    "Top work"
    Where does The Elegant Universe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is by far the best book I have "read" so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is accesible even for those who don't know what to expect.
    It will take you on a journey of hundreds of years science at high level


    What about Erik Davies’s performance did you like?

    very good.
    Must have been difficult to do this performance. Respect!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Well, there were some chapters that were too technical; where Brian just drifted of to lonely hights leaving us (simple beings) far behind.


    Any additional comments?

    Up to his next one....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas ALLEN, TX, United States 10-11-12
    Thomas ALLEN, TX, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2012

    I am a student currently near Dallas, TX, studying for Physics. I thoroughly enjoy a good sci-fi listen, as well as any scientific material here on Audible. Let the listening... BEGIN!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Caution - Fundamentals first!"
    Any additional comments?

    All I must say before I continue is that this is, in my opinion, a bit of intermediate book. Myself, being at or above this level, will continue with my review.

    Brian Greene, a pioneer on the road to figuring out the insanely complex String Theory (or M Theory, rather), describes the issues as current, and on the horizon. Indeed he also sets the stage by explaining what was discovered to have led to our current level of understanding. Doesn't misunderstand me, Greene does a great job at relating String Theory to the audience, but String Theory is a bit too complex to explain simply. Anyone else thinking of Einstein's quote right now?

    "If you cannot explain something simply, you do not fully understand it."

    Being that String Theory's complex and can (probably) never be proven as valid, we can safely say no one understands it. We barely conquered (if that is even an appropriate use of the word) quantum mechanics. String Theory is a bit immature, but Brian Greene does a great job at getting our feet wet and explaining the difficulties behind the formulation of a such a complex and unifying theory of everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris CLAREMONT, CA, United States 10-01-12
    Chris CLAREMONT, CA, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Elegant and Clear"
    What did you love best about The Elegant Universe?

    The content is deep, yet made approachable. I appreciated the human stories that went along with the development of Super String theory. Brian Green has that deep understanding of his material that also translates well into being able to describe it for the uninitiated.


    What about Erik Davies’s performance did you like?

    He did a fine job.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Green is describing the Fall he spends at the IAS in Princeton, you get a real sense of the struggle and human side of the complex material. That is the most moving piece.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 07-24-12
    Matthew PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 07-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The most illuminating book on cutting edge physics"
    What made the experience of listening to The Elegant Universe the most enjoyable?

    Explanation of string theory and it's consequences for physics


    What other book might you compare The Elegant Universe to and why?

    Brief History of Time


    Have you listened to any of Erik Davies’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The foreword by the Author thrilled me as it set the stage for what I was about to learn


    Any additional comments?

    As a non-physicist, it can be intimidating to attempt to grapple with modern theoretical physics. However, Brian Greene makes the edges of this developing pursuit understandable to those who wish to learn about it. I'm considering listening to it twice, both for pleasure and to have a second pass to more deeply understand the amazing consequences of this field.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Hawkins Alabama 08-31-09
    F. Hawkins Alabama 08-31-09 Member Since 2008

    silentsun

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    "a difficult read"

    After seeing/hearing Brian Greene on several shows and being impressed how easily he explained the science topics, I was looking forward to his book, even tho it costs twice as much as other books.
    This book is difficult scientific material, not easy reading, not enjoyable like Mr. Greene is in person.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sonya Brockton, MA, United States 03-25-13
    sonya Brockton, MA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2012

    i am a fashionista nerd> I am studying as well as practicing Medicine. I am also a Phd student . I love mathamatics as well. Shopping !!

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    "amazing"
    What made the experience of listening to The Elegant Universe the most enjoyable?

    The book was well written and exciting to hear!! The narrator is amazing! I have found one of my callings in life because of this book!!! Because of audible I had the chance to"read" it! I am a medical student and work also! I haven't time for reading other than school related which is a lot!!! But during my down time I fill it with the audio books amazing!!Also price is great! Also amazing! The sound is Crystal clear! now I realize what a gift it has become in my hectic life! Lastly of course some books I must read on my own in a more intimate context! But on the whole there are about 10 percent more audio than paper or kindle! Thank you!!!!#


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Elegant Universe?

    Getting it! Really understanding this former mythical language I thought only a tiny percent could. He brought it to a comfortable level then took off to a level quantum physics students would enjoy or know some of. The equations made sense! Now I can not get enough! I am going to take a class or two this summer!


    What does Erik Davies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    My personal lecturer! A kind and gentle yet knowledgeable voice! It's not just a book but a lesson! He is amazing!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As stated before an epiphany!


    Any additional comments?

    Very happy I discovered and gave it a try and put my ignorance at rest! Thinking only for the lazy or blind! That flew out the window asap!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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