Greene uses these questions to guide us toward modern science's new and deeper understanding of the universe. From Newton's unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein's fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics' entangled arena where vastly distant objects can bridge their spatial separation to instantaneously coordinate their behavior or even undergo teleportation, Greene reveals our world to be very different from what common experience leads us to believe. Focusing on the enigma of time, Greene establishes that nothing in the laws of physics insists that it run in any particular direction and that "time's arrow" is a relic of the universe's condition at the moment of the big bang. And in explaining the big bang itself, Greene shows how recent cutting-edge developments in superstring and M-theory may reconcile the behavior of everything from the smallest particle to the largest black hole. This startling vision culminates in a vibrant eleven-dimensional "multiverse," pulsating with ever-changing textures, where space and time themselves may dissolve into subtler, more fundamental entities.
Sparked by the trademark wit, humor, and brilliant use of analogy, Brian Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.
©2004 Brian Greene; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Nobody ever said that cosmology was simple, not even Stephen Hawking, in whose tradition Dr. Greene impressively follows....He is both a skilled and kindly explicator....The Fabric of the Cosmos is as dazzling as it is tough." (The New York Times)
"It will be enjoyable and stimulating for the lay reader, who will even learn about time travel and teleportation. This is one popular-science book that won't be left on the coffee table half read." (The New York Times Book Review)
The challenging concepts in this book are presented in a way that makes them understandable to a non-scientist. Some of the examples used are presented in a lighthearted way, that could be very enjoyable if it weren't for the Narrator's monotone, deadpan way of reading, which never wavers, even when a humorous and appealing element (such as the Simpsons) is used as a component in an explanation.
It is a flashback to listening to the most boring possible high school and college lectures, where the professor has been teaching so long that there is not an ounce of excitement left for the material they are presenting, the type of communication that is famous for putting kids off science permanently.
I've always been fascinated by the concepts involved space/time and quantum physics, but I could not finish listening to this book past part two. This is the first time in listening to dozens of books on Audible that this has happened to me, and I seriously regret the two credits I wasted on this book. However, I do plan to buy the 'Fabric of the Cosmos' and read it, because the difficult concepts are vividly and cleverly presented by the author. Too bad the ideas have to suffer as a result of the narration.
No one in the physics world can bring such a concise yet approachable view to non-physicists like Brian Greene. As a closet astrophysicist, I really enjoy Greene's prose and analogies that allow me to jump into the microscopic and macroscopic universe and understand topics that are very hard to grasp when you're lacking the upper level mathematics about which he speaks.
The problem with the book is that the last few chapters become very difficult to understand, especially after an exciting and truly riveting first 3/4 of the book.
Unlike in Fabric of the Cosmos, his first book, a lot of the information is punctuated with good narration rather than a high dependence on diagrams (which is good considering that this is an audiobook).
I think if you're absolutely shellshocked and intrigued by the way physics has evolved and how it continues to evolve, there is really no other book out there that brings such a friendly and approachable viewpoint as Greene's.
Excellent narration by Michael Prichard (who even sounds like Greene) makes it a perfect purchase.
If only I could wrap my brain around branes and such. But that limitation is more mine than the book's.
I loved this book. It explained a lot and cleared up many questions I had wondered about. But it was very challenging to follow not because of the way it was written but because of the complexity of the subject matter. I occasionally had to fight the urge to Fast Forward to avoid being lost in the details. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in science and the cosmos. Just be prepared to work hard at listening and absorb as much as you can. I probably will have to listen to this at least one more time just to get what I missed the first time. An excellent book.
I have always wanted to learn about Relativity, Quantum Physics and String Theory, but books I have read in the past have always gone over my head. Brian Greene explains these complicated subjects with a wit and clarity that bring these far out theories right down to Earth. This book has changed my perception of everything! When I learned about evolution in high school, I started to question the existence of God. After learning about the modern theories of physics, I ask "how could there NOT be a God?" After I finished listening to it, I went out and bought a print copy. I can't say enough about it. This book is amazing, a real treasure.
I love physics and this has become one of my favorite books. Great listen. I don't have a problem with the narrator like some have commented. I have listened to this book 5 times. I have grasp new insight with each listen.
The author makes the subject matter easy to understand as well as intresting. It keeps your attention as well as keeping you wanting more. I found myself hanging on the questions, waiting for the author to answer them. I found it a very enjoyable read.
The monotone narration straight out of a 1950s educational documentary, the strange Simpsons examples, and the incessant talk of a splattered egg made this book a difficult listen. More than once I found myself yelling out loud in frustaration "Enough with the egg already! Move on! I get it!"
Obviously, my review is in the minority, but for the life of me I can't understand how this bore-fest received such high ratings. While informative and educational it tends to dwell far too long on its concepts, such as the 3-plus hours dedicated to explaining that odds are extremely low that a smashed egg will spontaneously come back together. There's a revelation!
Maybe the abridged version would have been a better choice for me but if it's read by the Michael Prichard I'd pass on that one too. I just can't get the picture of Ben Stein out of my head.
I was so looking forward to listening to this book until I noticed the name of the narrator, it looked sadly familiar. Sure enough this is the same horrible reader that read MayDay. Hard as may try to get past the reading I just can't. Please audible and authors, don't use this reader, if you do, I won't buy the book.
Brian Greene is to modern physics, and M-Theory in particular, what Carl Sagan was to astronomy; not only a participant researcher, but its best explainer.
Sagan was criticized for having too large a public face in comparison to his scientific contributions, and some may say the same of Greene. I disagree with this argument, because it is just as important to show to laymen what has been discovered, and what current scientific thought is about a given area of study, as it is to do the discovering. It is when discovery is laid bare for the world that other minds are drawn to a subject, and this is when the sense of wonder begins that fuels future discovery. How many new astronomers, cosmologists, and physicists got their start after seeing and reading Cosmos?
Greene does the same for modern physics, and if there is a subject in need of good explanation, it is string theory. If you are unfamiliar with Greene's work, go check out his 3-part series that aired on PBS's science show, Nova, called The Elegant Universe. The entire show can be viewed on Nova's web site. Its a good primer on string theory and modern physics, and is a great lead-in for this book.
I only wish I had read this book instead of listening to the awful narration of Michael Prichard. His voice and flat inflections is a cross between Ben Stein?s character in Ferris Buellers Day Off and the robot from Lost in Space. This ruined what I believe is a fantastically written book of science. Brian Greene has succeeded in explaining the most difficult topics in a way everyone can understand.
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