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The Elegant Universe

  1. Apr 11, 2003 #1
    The Elegant Universe is the best possible introduction to superstring theory, especially for a layman (as far as mathematics goes).

    Brain Greene uses fitting illustrations, and very good analogies, to make complex points easily understandable.

    He warns you before going into anything where he might lose those without great interest in details, and tries to make sure that he doesn't bog one down with such details.

    One thing I really appreciated is that Prof. Greene explains the seeming incompatibilities, before saying anything about how string theory resolves them. He makes sure that you understand the inconsistencies, so that you can really appreciate the resolution - given by string theory.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2003 #2
    Couldn't agree more! A 'best buy'.


  4. Apr 25, 2003 #3
    In my opinion, this is the best physics book ever written. I can't put it down.
  5. Apr 27, 2003 #4
    I also totaly agree. I'm 15 and found it not only an excellent introduction to the superstring theory but also got me interested in the whole world of theoretical physics.
  6. Apr 27, 2003 #5
    Yes. same here. I got the book for my 16th birthday last year.
  7. May 13, 2003 #6
    I think the book was pretty good too. I've only begun reading it, and I find it to be very addicting.
  8. Apr 7, 2004 #7
    I am about half way through this book and I can't put it down. I only took 2 physics classes in college (and didn't pay much attention), but this book is interesting and well written. I reccomend it highly.

    I'm not sure if everyone is aware of this, but a 3 hour NOVA documentary was made from this book. There is a very good website of the documentary here:

    and you can also watch the entire 3 hour documentary online here:
  9. Apr 7, 2004 #8
    I liked the book very much, but pretty much got lost in it towards the last couple of chapters. I will probably have another go at it in a while.
  10. Apr 18, 2004 #9


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    Yes, this book was excellent. I actually got to meet Dr. Greene. He did a two-day lecture on string theory at my school (McMaster University) in October. Very cool guy.
  11. May 19, 2004 #10
    I was at Border's a couple of weeks ago, and noticed Greene now has a new book, The Fabric of the Cosmos - has anyone read this one yet? I read The Elegant Universe and really liked the book, and would have considered Fabric if it weren't only in hardback right now (and thus outside of my fiscal range).
  12. May 20, 2004 #11


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    I have not read The Fabric...yet but the reviews on Amazon were not that great.
  13. May 21, 2004 #12
    Excellent book, i've not finished yet, but the introduction to the randomness of quantum mechanics is set up so that anyone can understand it (eventually). Im 16, some of the stuff is weird, but its presented quite logically, highly recomed it, good read.
    Last edited: May 21, 2004
  14. May 21, 2004 #13
    I picked up the Elegant universe which I basically got for Free when I bought Fabric and still in the first few pages of the book, however I won't necessarily assume the Fabric is bad just because the reviews says so. I'll read it first then draw my own conclusions.
    Last edited: May 21, 2004
  15. Jun 10, 2004 #14
    ? where did you read that

    I checked the revies of fabric of the cosmos by greene and it got 4.5 stars out of 5, the reviews were mostly great
  16. Jun 11, 2004 #15


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    I just leafed through it, but it seemed to cover material that was in a lot of other books. Deja vu all over again could account for the differences of opinion.
  17. Jun 11, 2004 #16
    Exactly. It covers material already covered in a lot of other books, both those written by Greene and those written by other authors. It is also written on a more basic level than "The Elegant Universe". It is worth reading, but if you have read a lot on physics you will end up doing a lot of skimming.
  18. Jun 11, 2004 #17
    By the way, Greene's technical papers are among the best I've read, both comprehensive and detailed.
  19. Jun 13, 2004 #18
    He has a way to write both technically and to the general public, its a rare gift for a physics person to be able to communicate with the layman
  20. Jul 8, 2004 #19
    I'm in the process of reading Fabric of the Cosmos, and find it extremely well written and very interesting. And from the positive talk about it here, I'll definitely read The Elegant Universe when I'm finished.
  21. Jul 13, 2004 #20
    You know, I just realized that it may be a better idea to read Fabric before The Elegant Universe, since -- according to what I've heard from those who've read it, or are reading it -- Fabric is more basic than The Elegant Universe. Perhaps that's why I couldn't get through much of it; I'd read The Elegant Universe and so reading Fabric of the Cosmos felt like I was graduating 8th grade into Elementary school :frown:.
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