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Author: Brian Greene

What is it about? Special relativity, quantum mechanics, and string theory, written in a way that anyone can understand.

My Two Cents: It will blow your mind.theelegantuniverse

You might like it if you like: Space.

One Comment

  1. (Notice: I am a space junkie so my views on this might be a little skewed.)

    I found this book to be quite eye-opening. To say you’ll need to think outside of the box to understand what he is saying is a severe under-statement. The human brain cannot visualize many of the concepts Greene is trying to explain. Luckily, Greene is not a scientist who has lost his ability to write words rather than formulas. He repeatedly uses analogies as a way of explaining complex and difficult concepts throughout the book. Some will make things more comprehensible and some will still you have you wondering what in the world he is talking about. It doesn’t make things easier when you realize the sizes that he is talking about are incomprehensibly small or large.

    However, its difficulty does not mean you should not read this book. There are still valuable points to take away from it. The two that I took from were: One, space does not work at all how we think it works, and two, the human brain is an extraordinary evolutionary development.

    (1) – We all learn the basics of physics and chemistry growing up and in university, but Greene is discussing something straight out of left field. Quantum mechanics. A field of science that throws everything you think you know about the universe completely out the window. Although a bit difficult, it all is still pretty baffling. Everyone knows the famous equation e=mc2, but do we all really know what that stands for and why it was so revolutionary?

    (2) – The fact that there are scientists capable of devising ideas and possible solutions to the same questions Galileo and Copernicus posed over 500 years ago is quite stunning. It really shows how far we’ve come. And I don’t mean to take anything away from Copernicus and Galileo because they were extraordinary individuals in their own right, it’s just we’ve come so far from their time. Greene describes this phenomenon best:

    “The astonishment at our ability to understand the universe at all is easily lost in an age of rapid and impressive progress.”

    All in all, one of my top 10 books to read.

    Appeal: 5/5

    Readability 3/5


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