It’s been over a decade since the publication of the popular and bestselling The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. In the original introduction, Greene talks about not knowing how a book on superstrings, quantum theory, and the theory of everything would be popular; and now ten years later, with another new edition, along with the release of his new book, The Hidden Reality; it seems like many readers continue to be fascinated by the mysteries of our world and the cosmos.
Greene covers a lot in the 460 page book; actually he covers too much, but this is his key: the reader is rarely left with more questions. He breaks everything down to its bare bones, going into detail on the discovery of whatever subject he is addressing – quantum mechanics, relativity, superstrings, dark matter – when it was discovered; and all the research and theories that have been conducted on the subject. One way Greene makes such complicated facets of physics accessible to everyday readers is in his use of copious examples, using ordinary situations that anyone can understand; then in the following chapter, when another example is needed, the same characters from the previous example are back in a different situation. Not only does this make the concept easier to understand for the reader, but it creates a mental image and memory that in turns makes it simpler to remember.
The universe is a big, dark, scary place and it’s very complicated to explain a lot of what’s going on. Fortunately, The Elegant Universe serves as an excellent guide book, as Greene takes you by the hand and leads you step by step through the complexities of our cosmos.
CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.
Originally written on January 24, 2011.