View Full Version : The Elegant Universe, the book--any good?

man on the moon
2003-Jul-16, 09:01 AM
someone recently dropped off a copy of Brian Greenes book "The Elegant Universe". is it worth reading? or is it a bunch of nonesense? if it's any good, i'd be reading it till someone came to claim it. if not...why waste my time?

2003-Jul-16, 02:33 PM
I thought it was interesting. As I recall, it was a good summary of string theory at the time it was written. It's gotten good reviews on Amazon.com.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-16, 07:51 PM
I've read it. It's pretty good and does explain string theory in relatively simple terms.

2003-Jul-18, 07:48 PM
I liked it because it had phenomenal descriptions of special and general relativity and quantum mechanics. I would read it just for that. The string theory information makes it even better. A definite read.

man on the moon
2003-Jul-19, 06:42 AM
great! thanks. :D

2003-Sep-03, 03:47 AM
I personally loved it. One of my favorite things about it is the authors anaologies throughout the book. They really help make sense of the whole thing.

Be careful when you buy it though. I bought a copy from Chapters in Toronto and had to return it because it was missing 72 pages :o

2003-Sep-19, 06:09 PM
I got the book a couple of years ago. Read it at least 3 times. Suprisingly, I understood about 3/4ths of it. Just stock up on asprin before you get too far into it. #-o

2003-Sep-20, 08:24 PM
If you don't want to read the book, you can watch PBS next month. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/)

Richard of Chelmsford
2003-Sep-22, 12:30 PM
The book is good, but some of it is aimed at a rather simplistic level of reader, though, for all I know those readers could be out there. :-?

2003-Sep-22, 02:24 PM
I agree with the previous comment - it was rather too slow for me in some parts, or too simplistic. But then, I think this is because it's aimed at a large reader base.
I just get annoyed when I ask "But what about..." at some statement and only two pages later, after some boring explanations, the "what about..." comes up and throws around the whole explanation, and that multiple times!


2003-Oct-28, 05:11 PM
Interview with Brian Greene (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 650&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0): "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that string."

2003-Oct-28, 05:18 PM
I enjoyed this book as a layman reader the book gets heavy towards the end. Has an excellent end chapter which gives an account of the highs and lows of a physicist at work.

generaly a good read i thought. i have read the book a few times and from other comments i have seen those that get through it once tend to attempt it again.


Sister Ray
2003-Nov-11, 05:38 AM
I read it, and liked it very much. Since I don't have much training in quantum or molecular physics, I liked the fact it was easy to understand. And now I can impress people by bringing up string theory and babbling about it at length.

2003-Nov-17, 03:54 AM
Just my two cents... buy the hardcover if you don't have it. I don't know if it is in hard cover, but if you see it buy that instead of the softback.

Bought three of them... the first pages were missing and some were uncut. The second, same problem. The third, reread it six times... fell apart.


2003-Nov-30, 12:01 AM
The Elegant Universe is one of my textbooks. It's certainly better than my Chemistry book.