A fascinating and thought-provoking journey through the mysteries of space, time, and matter. Today physicists and mathematicians throughout the world are feverishly working on one of the most ambitious theories ever proposed: superstring theory. String theory, as it is often called, is the key to the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Finally, the century-old antagonism between the large and the small-General Relativity and Quantum Theory-is resolved. String theory proclaims that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe, from the frantic dancing of subatomic quarks to the majestic swirling of heavenly galaxies, are reflections of one grand physical principle and manifestations of one single entity: microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Brian Greene, one of the world's leading physicists, relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind twentieth-century physics' search for a theory of everything. Through the masterful use of metaphor and analogy, The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated viscerally accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
"Greene lays out the theory so clearly and persuasively that you almost come to believe it, and to hope that someday a way will be found to establish whether it is anything more than wishful mathematics....Like all popular science writers, Greene is burdened with the task of having to start from scratch, explaining ideas about relativity and quantum mechanics that were current in the 30's....But with Greene this familiar ground is well worth retreading. Rather than recycling the tired old set pieces science writers too often fall back on, he develops one fresh insight after another....In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE sets a standard that will be hard to beat."
George Johnson, New York Times Book Review, 02/21/1999
"THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE is an ambitious, patient, and frequently personal attempt to bring both the beauty and substance of string theory down to Earth for the general public....Even if string theory turns out to be wrong, the ideas it's spun forth thus far are sure to be woven into the ongoing revolution in physics."
K. C. Cole, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 03/07/1999