Book Reviews of The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
The Fabric of the Cosmos Space Time and the Texture of Reality
Author: Brian Greene
ISBN-13: 9780375412882
ISBN-10: 0375412883
Publication Date: 2/10/2004
Pages: 576
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 12

4.1 stars, based on 12 ratings
Publisher: Knopf
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

5 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Fabulous! Brian Greene really opened my eyes to the possibilities of the newer scientific views of the universe. He asks questions like: "Is the Universe real physical entity or only a human abstraction?" A very readable and fairly easily understandable book.
reviewed The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book should be required reading for anyone who lives in the universe. This generation's Carl Sagan wrote it. He may even be a better 'educator of the general masses' than Sagan was.

Greene writes for the non-expert who wants to understand - not just be told, and accept, the analogies - but who wants to be persuaded and actually shown that the universe is the way theoretical physics is the way it is. (Unlike some physics authors I could mention).

He asks the questions I want to ask, and then answers them. Why strings? Why not envision tiny Frisbees, or spheres, or arrays of numbers? He takes the time, walks you through it, without requiring you to follow hard math. He doesn't condescend, and can still see the way people outside of academe think and talk. It's apparently a rare gift to be able to think at the edges of human understanding of space, time, and the true nature of material, but be able to talk to the rest of us.

For instance - in general, I think of the universe as being made of stuff and energy. I used to think of mass as a property of stuff, and this book convinced me that there's no reason it should be a property of one and not the other. Why isn't it a property of light, for instance? Or, more specifically, how could it have a mass of zero? I kind of get it now.

I get general relativity fairly well, I follow what quantum mechanics is about, although I can't accept that something doesn't have a velocity or position until measured, and I now get string theory at the "survey-course" level.
reviewed The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality on + 5431 more book reviews
This is one of the first audio books that I've ever listened to (while crossing West Texas, maybe as close as you can get to leaving the space-time continuum), the author comes up with some very understandable analogies - however, you couldn't get me to explain them 5 minutes after I heard them.
reviewed The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality on + 201 more book reviews
This is a book on cosmology for the lay reader. Green starts with Newton and works his way though Einstein, the various people involved in the discovery of quantum mechanics, and eventually into his own specialty, string theory.

I found Greene's book very readable and helpful in understanding those parts of physics that are pretty well established. His discussions of string theory are also well done, but here we hit a slight issue with more recent events.

The book was published in 2004, and in the time since there is a growing movement (as far as I can tell, anyway) among some physicists to call string theory a crock and abandon it. Greene isn't among those ranks, of course, and I have no way to assess the validity of the arguments on either side, as the math is way, way beyond my abilities.

Still, I think the major objection is that string theory hasn't (and may not be testable). Greene argues here that there are things that can and will be tested. How well his arguments hold up against the growing group of people dissatisfied with string theory I don't know.

In any case, there are some very good discussions in here about Relativity, QM, Newtonian mechanics, absolute vs. relative space and time, and several other topics. If you want to know more about these things without being required to take 15 or 20 courses in advanced math, Greene's presentation is quite good.

Recommended.
reviewed The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality on + 5431 more book reviews
I skimmed it, it could be interesting, but quite frankly, it asks questions I never thought to ask, and I'm not that interested in finding out right now (plus, my attention span's shot)