NOVA - The Elegant Universe

ISBN 13: 9781593750060

NOVA - The Elegant Universe

 
9781593750060: NOVA - The Elegant Universe
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Physicist Brian Greenes bestselling book comes to the small screen in this stimulating look at a complicated topic: the search for order in the universe. Is a revolutionary proposalstring theorythe answer scientists have been seeking for centuries? Greene tackles the mind-boggling complexity of the theory with vivid, clear images, and calmly points the way to the answer.

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Review:

Based on Brian Greene's book, this three-part Nova program should do for physics what Cosmos did for astronomy. Greene hosts the program on the relative new concept of String Theory, a potential (and explosive) answer to the Holy Grail of science: a single, ultimate theory for everything. Part of Greene's (along with filmmakers Julia Cort and Joseph McMaster) genius is the ability to explain complex issues with ease thanks to a generous helping of graphics and humor. It starts with a perplexing anecdote: Einstein died trying to figure out if there could be an ultimate theory. His General Theory of Relativity brought order to the laws of large objects, but could not explain the chancier world of Quantum Mechanics (which deals with atomic particles). String Theory tries to marry the two. Greene and many colleagues give us a history of the quest and how String Theory was "discovered" in the 1980s. The formula has a lot of quirks, the most dazzling being the insistence there's 11 dimensions in the universe. Greene is not as natural as Cosmos creator/host Carl Sagan, but he is certainly friendly and encouraging (albeit it's quite odd for the host to be interviewed at various times in the program). Because it's a three-part show, there is some overlap at the start of hours 2 and 3. --Doug Thomas

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