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The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by [Brian Greene]
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The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,395 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Send[s] the reader’s imagination hurtling through space on an astonishing ride. . . . He is both a skilled and kindly explicator. His excitement for science on the threshold of vital breakthroughs is extremely contagious.” —The New York Times

“The best exposition and explanation of early 21st-century research into the fundamental nature of the universe as you are likely to find anywhere.” —Science

“Perhaps the single best explainer of abstruse science in the world today. . . . Greene has a gift for finding the right metaphor.” —The Washington Post

“I recommend Greene’s book to any nonexpert reader who wants an up-to-date account of theoretical physics, written in colloquial language that anyone can understand.” —Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books

“As pure intellectual adventure, this is about as good as it gets. . . . Even compared with A Brief History of Time, Greene’s book stands out for its sweeping ambition . . . stripping down the mystery from difficult concepts without watering down the science.” —Newsday

"Greene is as elegant as ever, cutting through the fog of complexity with insight and clarity. Space and time, you might even say, become putty in his hands." —Los Angeles Times

“Highly informed, lucid and witty. . . . There is simply no better introduction to the strange wonders of general relativity and quantum mechanics, the fields of knowledge essential for any real understanding of space and time.” —Discover

“The author’s informed curiosity is inspiring and his enthusiasm infectious.” —Kansas City Star

“Mind-bending. . . . [Greene] is both a gifted theoretical physicist and a graceful popularizer [with] virtu...

From AudioFile

Religion and science agree on one thing: Beyond our perception lies a world very different from our own. This book, says Brian Greene, is about "the men and women of science, who have peeled back layer after layer of the cosmic onion, enigma by enigma, and revealed a universe that is at once surprising, unfamiliar, exciting, elegant, and thoroughly unlike what anyone ever expected." Filled with details about what reality looks like to current physicists (and how they arrived at their conclusions), this book talks about high concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Michael Prichard lends a comfortable, authoritative voice to the fascinating topic. S.D. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000XUDGV2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage (December 18, 2007)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 18, 2007
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3305 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 594 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,395 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,395 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars At the Trailhead of the Universe
By Matt Mansfield on December 16, 2019
For anyone interested in and trying to get handle on the evolution of human observation, thinking, experimentation, discovery, then, repeating the cycle for understanding the very big to very small in our physical world, this is the ticket.

Brian Greene’s 2004 tour de force, “The Fabric of the Universe”, is a comprehensive look at road to how we have come to understand our physical world and universe –the grand sweep from special and general relativity to the subatomic dynamics of quantum mechanics and the chase to reconcile these two extremes visions into one theory of everything.

And a nice touch is most of the concepts are presented in an uncomplicated style with analogies or examples that are, well, down to earth. However, fasten your seatbelts: reality is not what it seems.

The content is presented in five major sections and broken down into sixteen chapters:

1. Reality’s Arena (4 chapters): classical physics overview, special and general relativity, impact of the uncertainty principle and quantum probability
2. Time and Experience (3 chapters): time’s arrow and entropy
3. Spacetime and Cosmology (four chapters): reconciling the seeming symmetry of fundamental components with the large scale structures of the cosmos - from now to the beginning
4. Origins and Unification (two chapters): string theory, multi-dimensions and the potential world of branes within M-theory
5. Reality and Imagination (three chapters): the world according to…mind-blowing discussion of alternative theories based on black holes, frame dragging and holographic life on the surface of a bubble

The key to understanding some discussions is realizing that for Green and his fellow theorists physics and cosmology have their own lexicon of terms and formulas that capture an unseen world or one waiting for confirmation by observations our physical capabilities can appreciate. With advancing technology, theorists are teasing out confirmation or rejection of new directions in the perceived world.

And some of those potential perceptions get weird but hold promise for leading current technology to confirm future understanding – even through it may be by indirect observations such as how entangled particles likely work.

A couple of conundrums remain unanswered for me: time travel, forward or backward, leaves me wondering whether you are in two moments at once – the present and simultaneously somewhere else, since both periods are changing according to local events. Seems like wishful thinking unless this is an entangled version of “me”.

A second area is the multiple worlds concept suggested by quantum probabilities: if I am a quantum being in a quantum world of probabilities, what am I observing? My guess is the “continuous” act of observing myself within my world collapses the probabilities for my experience. Only in communicating with other beings do we arrive at a consensus as to what our collective experience and “selves” are.

Some of Greene’s analogies for explaining theory get a little cumbersome and overdone. However, if you take a breather, go back and reread, the essence of the idea under discussion comes through. Be forewarned: it can be trying. Not all of this is for tourists… like me.

That said, I found the general discussion in “The Fabric of the Cosmos” current and less confusing than other books I’ve read on these subjects. Some of his future development mentions have come to pass. Yet, much remains to be seen and established on this journey.

Heisenberg was certainly right about uncertainty.

(If interested here are my Amazon reviews of two related works offering different views about reality and time's arrow:

Carlo Rovelli's 2017 "Reality is Not What It Seems":

John Gribbin's 2016 'The Time Illusion":
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Top reviews from other countries

Philip M
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and informative, Greene's ability to explain complex theory is unparalleled.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2019
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ivor bigun
5.0 out of 5 stars Every moron like me should try reading this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 25, 2017
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Partial Mind
4.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one physics book....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2020
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Old Den
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult but worth persisting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easily understandable - all the mysteries of the universe
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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