View Full Version : Books by Brian Greene

07-11-2004, 05:25 PM
I recently purchased "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene. It is an excellent book (although hard to follow at times).

I was wondering how this work compares with "The Elegant Universe" by the same author.

07-11-2004, 09:26 PM
I've never heard of him, what is your book about?

07-11-2004, 09:28 PM
It's about ninjas, Ryan.

Ninja physicists.

07-11-2004, 09:51 PM
No way ninja's whoa, my friend is a ninja, he is a black belt in like 7 different things or somewhat not stuff and has swords and ninja stars and uhhh other sharpe gleaming stuff he should write a book i guess.

07-11-2004, 09:54 PM
Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past?
Greene uses these questions to guide us toward modern science’s new and deeper understanding of the universe. From Newton’s unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein’s fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics’ entangled arena where vastly different objects can bridge their spatial separation to instantaneously coordinate their behavior or even undergo teleportation, Greene reveals our world to be very different from what common experience leads us to believe. Focusing on the enigma of time, Greene establishes that nothing in the laws of physics insists that it run in any particular direction and that “time’s arrow” is a relic of the universe’s condition at the moment of the big bang. And in explaining the big bang itself, Greene shows how recent cutting-edge developments in superstring and M-theory may reconcile the behavior of everything from the smallest particle to the largest black hole. This startling vision culminates in a vibrant eleven-dimensional “multiverse,” pulsating with ever-changing textures, where space and time themselves may dissolve into subtler, more fundamental entities.

Sparked by the trademark wit, humor, and brilliant use of analogy that have made The Elegant Universe a modern classic, Brian Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.

not cool govtcheez not cool....

07-11-2004, 10:49 PM
It's about ninjas, Ryan.

Ninja physicists.

You kids have too much time on your hands...

I see I can't stave off some kind of an attack on this website no matter how legit the subject matter is. This could have led to intelligent conversation but no, we get ninjas.

07-11-2004, 11:08 PM
Due to your last response vNvNation a squad of cprog's elite "re-edumacation" ninjas will be visiting you this evening. They ask that you have milk and cookies ready, preferabily soft cholcate chip baked fresh.

07-12-2004, 02:05 AM
ninja's are sweet, if i remeber correctly ninja's are referenced many times for the author's motivation to write the book

07-12-2004, 08:38 AM
You kids have too much time on your hands...

I see I can't stave off some kind of an attack on this website no matter how legit the subject matter is. This could have led to intelligent conversation but no, we get ninjas.
I realize it might be hard to tell when someone's made a joke, but how about you lighten up and tell us about the book?

I want to hear about this
?time?s arrow? is a relic of the universe?s condition at the moment of the big bang

07-12-2004, 09:58 AM


07-12-2004, 10:09 AM
Well, okay.

I guess in short the book Fabric of the Cosmos leads up to the modern day view of quantum mechanics, with original developments by the author on string theory. As far as I know, however, the string theories are more heavily discussed in the previous book the Elegant Universe, by the same author (and, mind you, I'm only about halfway through this one, and I haven't even bought the elegant universe yet).

The book, fabric of the cosmos, starts off with special and general relativity as developed by einstein, showing how space itself and time itself are not absolute entities. i.e, Newton said that if two rocks are tied together, and are spinning, the rope they are tied with remains taught, but in 'empty' space (just for the sake of argument) you have nothing to compare the rotation against, except space itself. Newton called this absolute space. Einstein proved that this entity, absolute space, does not exist, that both space and time are relative, but that spacetime exists (your movement through space combined with your movement through time is always equivalent to the speed of light and it is absolute). This is why as you approach the speed of light, time effectively slows down, and that the speed of light acts as sort of a definition of infinite speed for our universe (speed is distance over time, but because a photon of light is fully travelling at light speed, its movement through time approaches zero, which approaches a singularity). This has been proved by flying atomic clocks with cesium - 133 on board (cesium - 133 is the isotope which we currently use to define the duration of a second, because it releases radiation every second). One clock was in a jet, one was on the earth, and the clock in the jet was behind the clock on earth by several billionths of a second (exactly as was predicted by scientists).

It then goes on to show how gravity warps and curves space time (general relativity), and that a universe with no matter has no warps and curves (special relativity), but that both obey the absolute spacetime.

time's arrow is a relic of the universe?s condition at the moment of the big bang

Well, this just stems from the fact that the universe was more than likely highly ordered (low entropy) at the moment of the big bang, and subsequently there is a high probability that, with respect to a low velocity reference point, matter prefers to increase entropy.

I have to stop, I could keep typing for ages. This is a very, very good book, in my opinion. I don't always like the way he explains things, but then again, I doubt many people would do much better.


and, I would still like to know if anybody here has an opinion on 'The Elegant Universe'. I have read the online reports, but, more often than not authors of this subject matter release a second book not due to new material, but because the first was a fluke (although as I stated, 'Fabric of the Cosmos' evidently doesn't touch upon string theory as much).

07-12-2004, 11:35 AM
I've read "The Elegant Universe", and I've recommended it very highly before. I'll take a look at "Fabric of the Cosmos" next time I go to the bookstore, but I get the feeling that it'll be mostly repetition. :)

Zach L.
07-12-2004, 12:55 PM
Same here... The only one I have read is "Elegant Universe", but you have me interested in the other one too, now.

07-12-2004, 02:39 PM
Well, I guess what I am asking is, what do you think of it? Was 'The Elegant Universe' as good as the reviews say?

07-12-2004, 02:45 PM
>Was 'The Elegant Universe' as good as the reviews say?
It really depends on the reviews you've read. If they were glowing reviews then yes, it is. :D

Zach L.
07-12-2004, 04:48 PM
'Elegant Universe' was extremely well written. It was much more comprehensible than most physics books I have come across (about string theory, or even less esoteric topics). The big difference is that Greene seems to be a physicist and a writer, and not just a physicist who decided to write something.

07-12-2004, 06:33 PM
I am thinking I would have to agree with you on all counts there Zach.

I like the way that in Fabric, he keeps the language simple enough for any walk of life to understand (information should be freely accessible), but he includes intense mathematical derivations in the back of the book of which I understood few (and, that's saying something).