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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. 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 has set himself a daunting task: to explain non-intuitive, mathematical concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by Alfred Knopf first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Fabric of the Cosmos , please sign up. Is this book suitable for people with no science background, not even a basic one?
You have to take time to think about the concepts and to understand them. I've been reading it …more In my opinion it is suitable, but it's not a fast read. I've been reading it in small parts to handle this. Is it engaging or it just throws at you facts without passion?
Is it also easy to read? Craig Wanderer I realize this is a old post, but for others I will recommend "Astrophysics for people in a Hurry" or "The Grand Design" for first time books.
While G …more I realize this is a old post, but for others I will recommend "Astrophysics for people in a Hurry" or "The Grand Design" for first time books. While Green tries to be entertaining, I have had a hard time focusing despite this not being even close to my first book on Cosmology.
Usually I cannot put these books down but I am struggling, I find him and Mccacu on the same level, smart as hell but despite their best efforts, not able to relate very well on paper. See all 4 questions about The Fabric of the Cosmos…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 13, Greg rated it it was amazing Shelves: science. I like to talk shit about science sometimes. Sometimes it's just to push people's buttons and other times it's because of the pop side of science is ridiculous you know like the studies that get quoted on your web-browsers start-up page, which may even be contradicted a few days from now by some other article, or all those fucking pharmaceutical ad's on TV.
Hey, thanks Pfizer for helping make me a drug addict! I just made a slight at pop-science and that is hypocritical of me, it's really the I like to talk shit about science sometimes.
I just made a slight at pop-science and that is hypocritical of me, it's really the only type of science I can understand and this book basically falls into that category, it's a watered down version of real science so humanities idiots like me can understand concepts that they would stare open mouthed at if they had to read the actual articles about. By the way, I loved this book! Starting with a seemingly simple problem or I would think it's simple, but it took a few hundred years and Einstein to adequately understand it, apparently not that I could figure it out about why the water in a bucket pushes up against the side of the bucket when you spin the bucket around really fast, Brian Green creates a narrative I'm using this in it's normal manner, not in the science as narrative way that I use it when I want to piss people off, this book is a history of science book in quite a few ways that shows how this bucket filled with some water paved the way for Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Uncertainty, the Big Bang, String Theory, M-Theory, Branes and other concepts that helped move forward theoretical understandings of the whole universe.
Oh, actually the underlying theme to the book is how do we understand the concepts of space and time, or spacetime, which is one of the problems of understanding why the water in the bucket does what it does when it is spun around. Oh, did I mention I loved this book? I feel awkward giving it five stars because I lack the critical acumen to know if Brian Green is really telling the whole story, or if there is a huge bias here because I'm an idiot when it comes to matters like this.
I felt like he was being fair though but maybe I was just dazzled by any of the mathematics he would throw into footnotes that I wouldn't have the first idea on what to do with if someone handed me even the simplest one and asked me to solve it. About a hundred pages into the book I had the realization that I should have been more interested in math and science growing up. More exactly I had the realization that the way math and science were taught in the schools I attended did nothing to inspire me at all.
I'm fairly certain that most people never use most of the information they learn in science classes. I've never had the need to know all the parts of a flower, but if I had been taught something about what went into discovering some of the biology of x or say about the real awesomeness of evolution I'd probably have perked up and gotten interested.
Or maybe learned about the difficulties still facing scientists when dealing with the subatomic level, and the weirdness of quantum uncertainty and entanglement might have gotten me more interested and wanting to know more in a chemistry class than endlessly learning how to balance electrons between elements or whatever that fruitless exercise was called.
I know these details are really important to doing science, but without any reason to care about wanting to know about science this is all just monumental busy work. Shouldn't it be the job of schools to get kids to care and wanting to learn rather than forcing meaningless facts onto them? This rantish aside about the misguided importance pedological approach? It's too late now, and I'm too dumb in too many areas of knowledge but I should have been a theoretical physicist. That is what I realized reading this book.
I wish someone had told me about the weird shit these people try to figure out, explained who Parmenides was and the basic gist of his Poem was, and then told me I could work on these problems for the rest of my life if I started to pay attention in math class and gave a shit about my science classes, that there was cool stuff I'd get to later on.
Parmenides is never mentioned in this book, but at almost every step through the book he kept popping into my mind. He's my reoccurring fascination. His idea of the everything just being One at first glance is so silly. I remember the first time reading Zeno's Paradoxes he was Parmenides student and thinking they were just silly games with words, obviously something moves faster than something else and can over come it.
Obviously an arrow shot at a target eventually hits it. But sometime soon after my immediate annoyance at these kinds of meaningless games something clicked in me and I started to try to think through what Parmenides could mean by the whole universe being an unchanging, undivisible, timeless thing. A point, if you would. On one level Parmenides can be thought of as the logical foil to the pre-Socratic materialists, the voice that says your theory is nice but what about x?
I don't buy into the idea that was Parmenides only goal though. Unfortunately it's pretty much impossible to know exactly what Parmenides thought, because of thanks to those motherfucking Christians and Moslems you know for their multiple burnings of the Library of Alexandria and Christians for their wanton destruction of 'heretical' literature we have only a scant few fragments left from Parmenides work, and most of it is second hand from the post-Socratic arch-materialist Aristotle materialist meaning something sort of different in the Ancient Greek sense than one would think of a materialist today.
Are you bored yet? Anyway, back to Parmenides, I don't buy the idea that his role was only as foil, or goad to the materialists to make their theories more logically consistent.
Because of Plato. Socrates is bested only twice in the dialogues. First as a young man by Parmenides of Elea the guy I've been writing about in Parmenides and second by the Eleatic Stranger in The Sophist and The Statesman these two dialogues are like a part one and part two to each other. The appearance of the Eleatic Stranger is in the two dialogues that come at the end of Socrates life, before the series of dialogues that make up the trial and death of Socrates.
In both instances Socrates is bested in his arguments by the philosophy coming from Elea. Why is the only person who Plato allows to give Socrates a philosophical beat-down either Parmenides or a stand in for him? Parmenides himself couldn't be in a chronologically later dialogue, since he was an old man when Socrates was a youth. Anyway, long story that doesn't mean too much to anyone probably, but to sum it up Parmenides has been an thought game for me for years now, and many of the ideas that I've had to reconcile what Parmenides means I find in this fucking book, there are people who are seriously considering some of the logical games I play in my head about cosmology, but they have math and ways of actually coming up with answers!
I haven't done a good job at it, but to me this is so exciting. It's like all of the crazy shit that philosophers have thought up over the years can be actually studied and not just argued about using a mismash of concepts and logic, but possibly measured and articulated with math and shit! This book is like a validation to the stuff I think about when I'm not just wallowing in self-pity or being sad. Of course, I knew that a lot of this stuff existed before reading this book, but I had no idea what any of it really meant.
I just took the words and applied common meanings to them. String Theory? Oh, everything is interconnected with vibrating strings. Actually, no. That's not what String Theory means. Multi-dimensions, you mean like people could be living in a dimension almost on top of me that I don't see because I don't have access to those dimensions, but one day maybe we could, right?
No, actually even if the dimensions are big, the word big is being used on a microscopic scale, like the width of a piece of hair big, as opposed to small as in so small we have nothing that can see it.
The Fabric of the Cosmos
Acclaimed physicist Brian Greene reveals a mind-boggling reality beneath the surface of our everyday world. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we'd hardly recognize—a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected. Brian Greene is going to let you in on a secret: We've all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray. Much of what we thought we knew about our universe—that the past has already happened and the future is yet to be, that space is just an empty void, that our universe is the only universe that exists—just might be wrong. Interweaving provocative theories, experiments, and stories with crystal-clear explanations and imaginative metaphors like those that defined the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed series "The Elegant Universe," "The Fabric of the Cosmos" aims to be the most compelling, visual, and comprehensive picture of modern physics ever seen on television.
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
Greene begins with the key question: "what is reality? In almost every chapter, Greene introduces basic concepts and then slowly builds to a climax, usually a scientific breakthrough. Greene then attempts to connect with his reader by posing simple analogies to help explain the meaning of a scientific concept without oversimplifying the theory behind it. In the preface, Greene acknowledges that some parts of the book are controversial among scientists.