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The Elegant Universe Audiobook

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

4.3 (738 )
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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
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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
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    Goran 11-28-15
    Goran 11-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Informative and entertaining"
    Where does The Elegant Universe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've always enjoyed the way Brian Greene explains complex topics, and this book isn't the exception. Because of the way that he describes the experiments, it's very easy to picture them in your mind, making the concepts very understandable and simple. I have the audible and digital version, both of them very enjoyable. One of my favorite books of all times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. C. Miller 08-22-15
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    "A great presentation of the quantum, string, and m theory"

    A historical walk down the quantum research but presented in a why most techie can understand

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann MANITO, IL, United States 07-23-15
    Ann MANITO, IL, United States 07-23-15 Member Since 2012

    Bibliophile, nature nut, Kuk Sool Won student, physical therapist, and spaz. I love stories, learning new things, laughing and stretching my heart, mind and body.

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    "Way over my head."

    I think I grasped about 10%. He did a good job of trying to describe the indescribable. I have a basic (very. Basic) grasp of what string theory is, and how it interacts with relativity and quantum physics. But that's about it. Not his fault, I don't think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Horgen 05-28-15
    Ben Horgen 05-28-15
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    "Great read. Worth the time."

    Great read. Worth the time invested. It's a complex topic... and now my head hurts. ;-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Palantir 05-21-15
    Palantir 05-21-15
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    "The Universe doesn't seem elegant at all!"

    I wish I could say this book was elegantly written and that it did indeed describe an elegant universe. As good as the book is, though (and it is still one of the best none-the-less), I had a hard time seeing elegance anywhere.

    I bought this book after seeing Brian Greene present the TV series 'Fabric of the Cosmos'. His explanations were so, well, elegant (and brilliantly visualised) that I thought for sure here is the next Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking combined!

    Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the writing in this book, admittedly written many years earlier. Explanations labour tediously on foundation concepts when, suddenly, a crucial sophisticated conclusions flashes by. The 'plain English' prose is similarly punctuated with sudden clusters of esoteric vocabulary. The rhythm, therefore (especially when narrated) can be very unsettling. It's hard to know what the right level of your mind's 'engagement' ought to be at any particular time.

    If you persevere, though, this is definitely one of the most comprehensive explanations of String Theory's depths available in popular science. Interestingly, though, the sub-Planck-length Universe seems awfully 'messy' and confused, not at all elegant as the book's title suggests. So, I'm left wondering exactly what the title refers to, but still very satisfied with the book on the whole.

    The narrator was suitable for the material and easy to listen to. As other reviewers have noted, some foreign names are awkwardly pronounced, but I've grown used to this after hearing the same physicists' names attempted by many different narrators, all bringing their own regional peculiarities to their accents (UK vs US narrators for instance).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark D. Schnittman 05-14-15 Member Since 2014

    mschnit

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    "Tough, but worth it"

    I had also read the book years ago, but found the audiobook to be thoroughly enjoyable. This is a great book, but the subject matter will prove to be mind-bending to most. Approach with caution and go slow. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Rice 02-08-15
    Edward Rice 02-08-15
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    "Elegantly written"
    Where does The Elegant Universe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    #1


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Quantum universe


    Which character – as performed by Erik Davies – was your favorite?

    The Andromeda galaxy


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

    The _-000000000010 seconds after the Big Bang


    Any additional comments?

    While not understanding all of the complicated mathematical equations necessary it was elegantly written and flowed like a wave which kept me captivated. Stunning and riveting left me with a greater sense of awe for the mysteries of the universe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 11-22-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 11-22-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "A THEORY OF EVERYTHING"

    Who cares about physics?

    If the world is orderly and predictable, physics is the key to that orderliness and predictability; the key to our future.

    Greene excites a listener’s appreciation of string theory and its potential for becoming the basis for a unified field theory (a fundamental theory that explains everything about everything). The goal of physicist’s, since Einstein’s scientific break through (the theory of general relativity), has been to find a unified field theory. The consequence of E=MCsquared reminds us of the importance of understanding physics.

    The truth of string theory either obviates or combines the reality of space, time, and dimension. The future of string theory rests on experimental observance and measurement. Advances in string theory demand predictability and comprehensibility.

    Unraveling nature’s mysteries may or may not be accomplished with this exploration but string theory has the potential of being the greatest discovery.

    0 of 0 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

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