What is reality? Could we exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? What are the limits of the universe?
Brian Greene has made the mysteries of space and time accessible to millions with his acclaimed writings and award-winning TV series. Now he reveals a world more beautiful and bizarre than we could have imagined, where 'dark matter' reigns, space warps and wiggles through eleven dimensions, minute particles dance, fizz and teleport across vast distances, everything is made of vibrating strings and, like an ant on a lily-pad, we may be floating on a sliver of spacetime.
Revealing new layers of reality that lie just beneath the surface of our everyday lives, this grand tour of the universe will make you look at the world in a completely new way.
Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos with its questions about the limits of space and time and the texture of reality certainly looks a bit daunting to the uninitiated. Cosmic ripples, 11 dimensions to the universe and string theory that is somehow connected to a "Theory of Everything" are all a bit alien if you never really got to grips with Newton, let alone Einstein. It might look very heavyweight, but Greene is an excellent communicator and what he's writing about is perhaps the greatest intellectual challenge we face.
There is no doubt that speculation about the nature of the heavens is very ancient. After centuries of thought "we still can only portray space and time as the most familiar of strangers". But enormous advances in understanding have been made especially over the last few decades. Whether we are high-flying city slickers or impoverished cattle-herders in the third world, speculation about space-time "takes on an almost mystical quality: we're considering the fate of the very things that dominate our sense of reality" according to Greene.
In The Fabric of the Cosmos Green avoids mathematical formulae, which can be an immediate turnoff for most general readers. Clearly he knows that visually we can deal with abstract and/or difficult concepts much better than when they are presented in words. Consequently, he uses a very clever selection of excellent and well designed illustrations to help get his ideas across. There is an excellent index, plenty of notes and suggestions for further reading, which will allow those more in the know to take matters further. And, there is a glossary for us ordinary mortals who need every now and again to check up on our understanding of things such as quarks, Higgs particles, braneworld scenario and M-theory. - Douglas Palmer - This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (2004) is the second book on theoretical physics, cosmology, and string theory written by Brian Greene, professor and co-director of Columbia's Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP). - Wikipedia