There was a time when “universe” meant all there is. Everything. Yet, in recent years discoveries in physics and cosmology have led a number of scientists to conclude that our universe may be one among many. With crystal-clear prose and inspired use of analogy, Brian Greene shows how a range of different “multiverse” proposals emerges from theories developed to explain the most refined observations of both subatomic particles and the dark depths of space: a multiverse in which you have an infinite number of doppelgängers, each reading this sentence in a distant universe; a multiverse comprising a vast ocean of bubble universes, of which ours is but one; a multiverse that endlessly cycles through time, or one that might be hovering millimeters away yet remains invisible; another in which every possibility allowed by quantum physics is brought to life. Or, perhaps strangest of all, a multiverse made purely of mathematics.
Greene, one of our foremost physicists and science writers, takes us on a captivating exploration of these parallel worlds and reveals how much of reality’s true nature may be deeply hidden within them.
©2011 Brian Greene (P)2011 Random House Audio
Brian Greene's use of metaphor is so razor sharp that I my understanding of things that I thought I already knew has reached a much deeper level. In addition, I now have some understanding of concepts at the cutting edge of physics that are totally new to me. Thank you Mr. Greene! You've opened up my world!
As for the naysayers? The book is challenging both in terms of logic and in terms of worldview. If you think that you already have all of the answers about the very fabric of reality, then this probably isn't the book for you. And to those who found Brian Greene's voice annoying, I can't even fathom the comment. Hearing the enthusiasm in Mr. Greene's voice as he described the most fantastic concepts was a treat that couldn't have been duplicated by a "professional" reader.
I love Brian Greene, and he does a great job of reading his own book here. However, some concepts in The Hidden Reality (as you might imagine) are pretty complex and dense. It's extremely difficult to grasp this without reading the same sentence several times over, or pausing to find a diagram or something. Again, my issue is not with the book, but with my experience listening. It's entirely possible that this shortcoming is my own, but I think others are likely to have a similar experience.
I enjoyed this a great deal, but still believe "Fabric of the Cosmos" (Greene's second book) to be his best.
By the end of the 2nd chapter I felt I got my monies worth. I have never read a book that made me think about our existence in the universe in an entirely different way.
Wonderful book and easy to understand for us that do not speak higher math. I found myself thinking of metaphysical writtings of Hindu Philosophy and the truths that they speak from the cusp of a higher age. God is an awesome God, this book gave me a glimpse of those things that are known to the Creator and that we are but scratching the surface of a deeper understanding of these Hidden Realities!.
The author should have done his listeners a service and had someone else narrate his book.
While the theories in this book are certainly interesting they are heavily based on conjecture and belief. Many times throughout the book the author starts his argument with "many scientists believe" or "the majority of scientists believe". While I give him kudos for at least starting off with this admission, it seemed to me that one set of beliefs were being built on another to develop theories that, while intriguing, are by their nature not likely to ever be provable or disprovable. To me, that is where the "science" becomes religion. I suppose that this is the source of my discomfort with the book. I enjoyed the discussion of the underlying science but the way it was presented made it seem that the author wanted the reader to accept as true, conclusions that are based on what amounts to a belief system. All in all this book did an excellent job in explaining the current thinking of some of our brightest scientists. On the other hand, it left me feeling that perhaps there is a line being crossed here that the author was not quite willing to admit it.
Ok - we all want think we are intelligent. We love science and are often facinated by
new discoveries and theoretical developments we might hear about. We hunger for more learning that will challenge our limits. So...maybe we put our hard earned bucks where our minds are and spring for a 13 hour tour de force by a writer that claims to dumb everything down to simple analogies we all can grasp. Yes - great idea. This book ? Total failure. After cd 2, its what you always feared about cosmic level math and physics - lots of bizarre, badly explained theories that don't make much sense to laymen, and lots of
absurdly convoluted mathmatical formulas that somehow the editor went along with. We can all nod to each other with a wry knowing smile when someone mentions this book, we can even believe we understand it - but seriously, unless your compulsion for masocism is unchecked and needs expressing thru audio book self-torture - DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. Then again, if you have the steel will of a loon - buy it, listen to all 13+ hours and as a chaser, follow it up by the horrid David Sedaris book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk....
My review title says it all, and, no, I don't have to respect the math. Dr. Greene has a slight lisp that occurs infrequently, but frequently enough that it drove me nuts.
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