Physicists and mathematicians all over the world are feverishly working in these years on one of the most ambitious theories that have ever been conceived: the theory of superstrings, or strings, as it is often called. Einstein searched for more than thirty years without ever achieving a unified theory, which reconciled general relativity and quantum mechanics, the two cornerstones of twentieth-century physics. String theory provides perhaps the solution to this profound and fascinating problem, describing all the forces of nature in a single conceptual framework of supreme elegance.
Everything that is wonderful in the universe is the result of the vibrations of individual units, ultramicroscopic strings hidden in the depth of matter. The 'modes of vibration', the 'notes' intoned by these strings, determine the intimate constitution of matter, such as violin strings that perform an ordered and harmonious cosmic symphony.
In this book, Brian Greene tells the story of an extraordinary adventure, talking about it as a protagonist and transmitting all the enthusiasm of scientific discovery. The revolutionary vision of the universe that emerges from his story involves hidden and rolled up dimensions in the folds of space, black holes that are transformed into elementary particles, discontinuity in the weaving of spacetime and universes that generate other universes.
"The elegant universe" describes with intelligence and vivacity the exhilarating discoveries and the still unsolved mysteries of the universe. Through the wise use of analogies and fascinating metaphors, Greene manages to make immediately accessible some of the most complex and sophisticated concepts of contemporary physics.