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L' universo elegante: superstringhe,…
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L' universo elegante: superstringhe, dimensioni nascoste e la ricerca… (1999)

by Brian Greene

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6,47658592 (3.97)1 / 126
Member:earthlydelight
Title:L' universo elegante: superstringhe, dimensioni nascoste e la ricerca della teoria ultima
Authors:Brian Greene
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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene (1999)

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English (55)  French (2)  German (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Some parts are extremely interesting, the rest of it probably would be if I understood/cared more. There is a great explanation of relativity towards the beginning that I think most people would find intriguing. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Well-written, fascinating look at the development of special and general relativity—and the omissions that are driving theoretical research ever since. HOWEVER, and this is a huge caveat, most of the book may be chronicling a misfire. (Lee Smolin's book THE TROUBLE WITH PHYSICS makes a good case for String Theory's failures; I'm about to re-read it to refresh my memory, so I can't go into too much detail yet.)

Greene's storytelling is certainly seductive, but a lot of String Theory's appeal is getting the same results as other theories, but in a more elegant fashion. This is a good thing because it means the theory avoids being outright wrong, but makes it difficult to find results that'll uniquely support strings, and not just the mass of other popular theories.

More troublingly, the experimental evidence that might support strings or these other theories simply isn't showing up. The Large Hadron Collider found the Higgs Boson, but has yet to uncover ANY signs of supersymmetry—the linchpin of string theory and other popular proposals. Oops. Of course, there are always other variants that hold out the hope that supersymmetric partners are just higher mass and harder to reach, but constant tweaking and adjustment kinda undermines the original claims to elegance!

When the book is standing on firmer ground, it's marvelous; Greene is a fantastic writer and explainer. But as an argument for String Theory? Reader beware. ( )
1 vote gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
90% I've heard before in all the apocryphal physics stories.The other 10% was fascinating. He is one of the better writers, going as deep as Ricci flows and Calabi-Yau manifolds, as deep as he can go without equations. But he still remains a string theory apologist, vainly defending what has yet proved to be a sophisticated exercise in man. ( )
  Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
I have long wanted to read Brian Greene's books, and enjoyed seeing his Nova episodes on time and space. Physics tells us that "every moment in time already exists," which is a concept that will blow your mind and make you a five-point Calvinist. At least until you read about string theory and how it counters determinism, if you can understand exactly how that is. That's what The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory is all about.

Greene has a talent for taking something that is purely theoretical and mathematical--the exploration of the universe--and making it somewhat intelligible for the reader with imperfect analogies and stories. He explains his own contributions to the world of physics and is quick to give credit to a host of colleagues.

You will learn a lot about the history of 20th century physics in this book, especially quantum mechanics. I listened to the audio version, and am glad as it's one of those books that can get really dry, despite Greene's best efforts to come up with imperfect analogies. I found the book harder to follow as it went on as it delved into the discoveries, re-discoveries, and debates of M-theory over the last 25 years. Where the conflict arises between higher mathematics and higher physics. The devil is in the details. Are there 11 dimensions and how does that work? Is it science, philosophy, both?

You will learn a great deal from this book. The fact that Greene is an expert in a highly complex field makes it hard to know whether his thoughts are accurate or not. What sorts of physicists disagree with him? Hard to know.

I give it 4 stars out of 5. It expands your universe, check it out. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I learned many things about cosmology and discovered even more things that just went right over my head. I am considering reading String Theory for Dummies but this book seemed basic enough for anyone with a general grasp of physics at the university level.

I appreciated the attempts of the author to find simpler examples of complicated concepts. Explaining ideas in a simpler 2-dimensional world before expounding on them in our 4-dimensial (or more) universe made some things easier to understand. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, ''The Elegant Universe'' sets a standard that will be hard to beat.
 
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To my mother and the memory of my father, with love and gratitude
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During the last thirty years of his life, Albert Einstein sought relentlessly for a so-called unified field theory—a theory capable of describing nature's forces within a single, all-encompassing, coherent framework.
Calling it a cover-up would be far too dramatic.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375708111, Paperback)

There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find approximate solutions to approximate equations"--Greene gives a tour of string theory solid enough to satisfy the scientifically literate.

Though Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study is in many ways the human hero of The Elegant Universe, it is not a human-side-of-physics story. Greene's focus throughout is the science, and he gives the nonspecialist at least an illusion of understanding--or the sense of knowing what it is that you don't know. And that is traditionally the first step on the road to knowledge. --Mary Ellen Curtin

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:03 -0400)

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Discusses the author's theory for all matter in the universe known as the string theory.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393058581, 039333810X

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