The Elegant Universe - Brian Green

The Elegant Universe - Brian Green - -- 1 --The Elegant...

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Unformatted text preview: -- 1 --The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Brian Greene -- 2 --Contents Preface Part I: The Edge of Knowledge 1. Tied Up with String Part II: The Dilemma of Space, Time, and the Quanta 2. Space, Time, and the Eye of the Beholder 3. Of Warps and Ripples 4. Microscopic Weirdness 5. The Need for a New Theory: General Relativity vs. Quantum Mechanics Part III: The Cosmic Symphony 6. Nothing but Music: The Essentials of Superstring Theory 7. The "Super" in Superstrings 8. More Dimensions Than Meet the Eye 9. The Smoking Gun: Experimental Signatures Part IV. String Theory and the Fabric of Spacetime 10. Quantum Geometry 11. Tearing the Fabric of Space 12. Beyond Strings: In Search of M-Theory 13. Black Holes: A String/M-Theory Perspective 14. Reflections on Cosmology Part V: Unification in the Twenty-First Century 15. Prospects Glossary of Scientific Terms References and Suggestions for Further Reading E-book notes-- 3 --Preface During the last thirty years of his life, Albert Einstein sought relentlessly for a so-called unified field theorya theory capable of describing nature's forces within a single, all-encompassing, coherent framework. Einstein was not motivated by the things we often associate with scientific undertakings, such as trying to explain this or that piece of experimental data. Instead, he was driven by a passionate belief that the deepest understanding of the universe would reveal its truest wonder: the simplicity and power of the principles on which it is based. Einstein wanted to illuminate the workings of the universe with a clarity never before achieved, allowing us all to stand in awe of its sheer beauty and elegance. Einstein never realized this dream, in large part because the deck was stacked against him: In his day, a number of essential features of matter and the forces of nature were either unknown or, at best, poorly understood. But during the past half-century, physicists of each new generationthrough fits and starts, and diversions down blind alleyshave been building steadily on the discoveries of their predecessors to piece together an ever fuller understanding of how the universe works. And now, long after Einstein articulated his quest for a unified theory but came up empty-handed, physicists believe they have finally found a framework for stitching these insights together into a seamless wholea single theory that, in principle, is capable of describing all physical phenomena. The theory, superstring theory, is the subject of this book. I wrote The Elegant Universe in an attempt to make the remarkable insights emerging from the forefront of physics research accessible to a broad spectrum of readers, especially those with no training in mathematics or physics. Through public lectures on superstring theory I have given over the past few years, I have witnessed a widespread yearning to understand what current research says about the fundamental laws of the...
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course PHYS 222 taught by Professor Wade during the Spring '09 term at Edmonds Community College.

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The Elegant Universe - Brian Green - -- 1 --The Elegant...

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