The Fabric of the Cosmos

  • by Brian Greene
  • Narrated by Michael Prichard
  • 22 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 distant 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, 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.

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What the Critics Say

"Nobody ever said that cosmology was simple, not even Stephen Hawking, in whose tradition Dr. Greene impressively follows....He is both a skilled and kindly explicator....The Fabric of the Cosmos is as dazzling as it is tough." (The New York Times)
"It will be enjoyable and stimulating for the lay reader, who will even learn about time travel and teleportation. This is one popular-science book that won't be left on the coffee table half read." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lucid, Revealing, Thorough

If you're new to the worlds of quantum physics and relativity, this book makes an excellent primer; non-scientists who just want to brush up on their physics will find plenty to like here as well--Greene's explanation of the Aspect experiment is the first I've ever read that actually makes me feel as though I understood what was actually going on. His frequent use of Simpsons and Star Wars characters as the subjects of his examples is charming in its unabashed geekery. The only sour note is the narrator, who sounds as though he's reading a 1940's newsreel. Once you get used to the ponderousness of the narration, though, the content gets you through.
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- Matthew

Space and Time for the Common Man

Greene has a wonderful gift for explaining complex matters in a clear and entertaining manner. I was a bit worried that without the diagrams and figures the book would be hard to follow, but except for one or two passages Greene's explanations were easy to follow from his verbal descriptions. If you want to know what is going on at the frontiers of physics this is the book to get. Still you should be prepared to expand some intellectual effort to get the point of such things as Bell's inequalities and quantum nonlocality. I especially enjoyed the description of how the passage of time was an illusion, at least for someone who believes in the physics point of view. Even so this book is a wonderful way to pass time.
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- Martin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-12-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape