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The Fabric of the Cosmos
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About the Author

Brian Greene received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He joined the physics faculty at Cornell University in 1990, was appointed to a full professorship in 1995, and in 1996 joined Columbia University where he is professor of physics and mathematics. He has lectured at both a general and a technical level in more than twenty-five countries and is widely regarded for a number of ground breaking discoveries in superstring theory. He lives in Andes, New York, and New York City.

Reviews

Following his success with The Elegant Universe, Greene takes on things like multidimensional space and M-theoryAnot to mention a 14-city author tour. Look for a PBS series this fall. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

String theory is a recent development in physics that, by positing that all which exists is composed of infinitesimally small vibrating loops of energy, seeks to unify Einstein's theories and those of quantum mechanics into a so-called "theory of everything." In 1999, Greene, one of the world's leading physicists, published The Elegant Universe (Norton), a popular presentation of string theory that became a major bestseller and, last fall, a highly rated PBS/Nova series. The strength of the book resided in Greene's unparalleled (among contemporary science writers) ability to translate higher mathematics (the language of physics) and its findings into everyday language and images, through adept use of metaphor and analogy, and crisp, witty prose. The same virtues adhere to this new book, which offers a lively view of human understanding of space and time, an understanding of which string theory is an as-yet unproven advance. To do this, Greene takes a roughly chronological approach, beginning with Newton, moving through Einstein and quantum physics, and on to string theory and its hypotheses (that there are 11 dimensions, ten of space and one of time; that there may be an abundance of parallel universes; that time travel may be possible, and so on) and imminent experiments that may test some of its tenets. None of this is easy reading, mostly because the concepts are tough to grasp and Greene never seems to compromise on accuracy. Eighty-five line drawings ease the task, however, as does Greene's felicitous narration; most importantly, though, Greene not only makes concepts clear but explains why they matter. He opens the book with a discussion of Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus, setting a humanistic tone that he sustains throughout. This is popular science writing of the highest order, with copious endnotes that, unlike the text, include some math. (Feb. 16) Forecast: With a first printing of 125,000, Knopf clearly hopes this title, a main selection of BOMC, will at least match the sales of The Elegant Universe. Greene, a charismatic speaker, is going all out for the book, with a 14-city author tour and much major media, including an appearance on Letterman. Simultaneous Random House Audio editions will extend the book's reach: expect high interest and big sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Send[s] the reader's imagination hurtling through space on an astonishing ride. . . . He is both a skilled and kindly explicator. His excitement for science on the threshold of vital breakthroughs is extremely contagious." --The New York Times

"The best exposition and explanation of early 21st-century research into the fundamental nature of the universe as you are likely to find anywhere." --Science

"Perhaps the single best explainer of abstruse science in the world today. . . . Greene has a gift for finding the right metaphor." --The Washington Post "I recommend Greene's book to any nonexpert reader who wants an up-to-date account of theoretical physics, written in colloquial language that anyone can understand." --Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books

"As pure intellectual adventure, this is about as good as it gets. . . . Even compared with A Brief History of Time, Greene's book stands out for its sweeping ambition . . . stripping down the mystery from difficult concepts without watering down the science." --Newsday "Greene is as elegant as ever, cutting through the fog of complexity with insight and clarity. Space and time, you might even say, become putty in his hands." --Los Angeles Times

"Highly informed, lucid and witty. . . . There is simply no better introduction to the strange wonders of general relativity and quantum mechanics, the fields of knowledge essential for any real understanding of space and time." --Discover

"The author's informed curiosity is inspiring and his enthusiasm infectious." --Kansas City Star

"Mind-bending. . . . [Greene] is both a gifted theoretical physicist and a graceful popularizer [with] virtuoso explanatory skills." --The Oregonian "Brian Greene is the new Hawking, only better." --The Times
(London) "Greene's gravitational pull rivals a black hole's." --Newsweek "Greene is an excellent teacher, humorous and quick. . . . Read [your friends] the passages of this book that boggle your mind. (You may find yourself reading them every single paragraph.)." --Boston Globe "Inexhaustibly witty . . . a must-read for the huge constituency of lay readers enticed by the mysteries of cosmology." --Sunday Times "Relish this exhilarating foray into the alien terrain that is our own universe." --Booklist, starred review "Holds out the promise that we may one day explain how space and time have come to exist." --Paul Davies, Nature "Greene takes us to the limits of space and time." --The Guardian

"Exciting stuff. . . . Introduces the reader to the mind-boggling landscape of cutting-edge theoretical physics, where mathematics rules supreme." --The News & Observer

"One of the most entertaining and thought-provoking popular science books to have emerged in the last few years. The Elegant Universe was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The Fabric of the Cosmos deserves to win it." --Physics World "In the space of 500 readable pages, Greene has brought us to the brink of twenty-first-century physics with the minimum of fuss." --The Herald

"If anyone can popularize tough science, it's Greene." --Entertainment Weekly "Greene is a marvelously talented exponent of physics. . . . A pleasure to read." --Economist "Magnificent . . . sends shivers down the spine." --Financial Times

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