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Book Review - Elegant Universe

Essay by   •  May 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  473 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,511 Views

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After previewing my novel, I discovered some very interesting facts. The Elegant Universe was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, is a National Bestseller, and is highly acclaimed by multiple newspapers. Through my preview of the novel, I began to get a feel for the kind of subject that was to be discussed in the book. The subtitle on the front cover inscribes: "Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory". This persuaded my opinion on the book as to believe that it would be about modern physics, a lot of complex concepts, and it would be, above all, an epic read. The New York stated on the back of the novel that "The Elegant Universe is compulsively readable...Greene threatens to do for string theory what Stephen Hawking did for black holes." If you aren't familiar with Stephen Hawking's work, he was responsible for creating an equation that challenged the very premises on which physics was built. Continuing on this tangent, his equation led conclusively to the destruction of "information" in a black hole. So if you're familiar with the idea that matter cannot be created or destroyed, or that energy cannot subsequently be created or destroyed, Stephen Hawking was able to prove that wrong. This of course led to an uproar in the physics community because literally everyone's basic ideas and beliefs regarding physics were challenged. Now as time passed, it appeared that no one could prove Stephen Hawking otherwise. This paradox of physics remained unsolved until Stephen, himself, found a way of disproving his own work. So with this knowledge, be it new or not, we can grasp how serious the content of this book may be with respect to physics. Perhaps Brian Greene will start the new revolution on physics: turning its head upside down.

I already know a fair bit on the topic that he is discussing. For specifics: I've already researched Quantum Theory, Theory of Relativity (General and Special), Quantum Mechanics, and String Theory itself; all of which appears to be discussed in the book based on the Contents. I've used YouTube as a source, specifically the videos that Brian Greene has made reading this topic, Wikipedia, a few online lectures from Stanford University, and small items of reading here and there.

I hope to gain new insights on physics as we progress towards new discoveries. I am hopefully going to study physics at the university level and I may potentially study physics at an even higher level of learning. At the moment I am just curious and fascinated by the information I am receiving. I figure that if I can grasp the most difficult concepts in physics today, then some of that knowledge should be transferable to my everyday life. With that, I hope this book can provide me with a new perspective on the natural phenomena I experience.



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