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The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Review

Brian Greene's book The Hidden Reality is a tour de force of one of the most controversial areas of modern science - the possibility that there are multiple universes... Greene's ability as a populariser has matured with each new publication and this latest offering is his best yet (Alastair Gunn Sky at Night)

Exciting and rewarding ... captures and engages the imagination ... Greene has a gift for elucidating big ideas (New York Times)

If extraterrestrials landed tomorrow and demanded to know what the human mind is capable of accomplishing, we could do worse than to hand them a copy of this book (New York Times Book Review)

The book serves well as an introduction to the multiverse and will open up many people's eyes (John Gribbin)

Every chapter opens level after level of previously unimaginable, mind-expanding realities (Oliver Sacks)

About the Author

Brian Greene is well known to many fans as a populariser of theoretical physics. He is the author of the bestselling books about string theory, The Elegant Universe, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and The Fabric of the Cosmos. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, he has taught at both Harvard and Cornell and has been Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University since 1996.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3441 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (9 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055MYYZ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,320 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Following up his two previous bestsellers, The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, Columbia University Professor of Physics and Mathematics Brian Greene has carried on in his attempt to enlighten the lay reader to leading edge developments in scientific research into the deepest mysteries of both the micro-world and the macro-world of not only our own universe, but other universes that may exist beyond our current ability to contact them.

Including 30 pages of notes, mostly for the more technically inclined, an extensive index, and using metaphor, analogy, historical anecdotes, and a touch of humour, Professor Greene looks at the latest theoretical thinking and experimental analyses to give, as he says in the Preface, "...a broadly accessible account of some of the strangest and, should they prove correct, most revealing insights of modern physics. Many of the concepts require the reader to abandon comfortable modes of thought and to embrace unanticipated realms of reality."

What spurred Greene to give us an up-to-date account of developments in fundamental theoretical physics is that they have led investigators to the serious consideration of different types of parallel universes. In the book, he identifies 9 varieties of what are called "multiverses." And, what is so amazing to Greene and to his colleagues around the world is that "...all of the parallel-universe proposals that we will take seriously (in the book) emerge unbidden from the mathematics of theories developed to explain conventional data and observation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The strength of this fine book lies in the meticulous manner in which the author systematically builds the evidence necessary to convince even the most sceptical reader to at least think seriously about the concept of parallel universes. Just as Copernicus overturned the anthropic solar-centric universe model, Greene draws upon the mathematics of the most recent developments in physics, all of which support the existence of a multiverse of which our own is far from unique.

In citing: quantum mechanics, string theory and M theory the reader is drawn ever closer to the probable conclusion that our universe is merely one of many. In so doing Greene brilliantly raises questions about the empirical basis of science and proposes a paradigm shift from the classical physics approach of using equations describing physical laws, knowledge of the constants of nature and initial conditions to predict future outcomes with certainty.

Perhaps the most compelling argument for parallel universes, besides the fact almost all the most recently developed theories support it, is the manner in which it can potentially reconcile that most thorny issue of contemporary physics- how to reconcile the inherent weakness of gravity and its relationship with the quantum world. The extra dimensions implicit in M theory and the possibilities of string theory offer an exciting future solution to the gravity problem which has so far stood in the way of the holy grail of a theory of everything. Indeed so powerful are the arguments proffered by Greene here, the multiverse hypothesis is set to make the pursuit of such a theory obsolete. If ours is just one of many universes, the need to understand its constants becomes less significant.
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By Niki Collins-queen, Author TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Brian Green's fascinating book "The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep laws of the Cosmos" is about a growing body of work that is steadily converging around a proposal that our universe is actually one of many universes. He admits that the subject of parallel universes is highly speculative. No experimentation or observation has been established. The point of the book is not to convince us. Its intention is to lay out the intellectual steps and the chain of theoretical insights that led physicists from a range of perspectives to consider the possibility that ours is one of many universes.
He says some people recoil at the notion of parallel worlds. They feel it marginalizes our place and importance in the cosmos. Green's take is different. What matters is whether there exists exciting realms that challenge convention by suggesting what we thought to be the universe is only one component of a far grander mostly hidden reality. The journey so far takes us through nine variations of the multiverse theme - the Quilted, Inflationary, Brane, Cyclic, Landscape, Quantum, Simulated and Ultimate. Each envisions our universe as part of an unexpectedly larger whole, but the complexion of the whole and the nature of the member universes differ sharply. Some are separated by enormous stretches of space and time, other hover millimeters away, in others the very notion of their location proves parochial, devoid of meaning.
Over the course of five centuries we've had to give up our belief in the earth's centrality among our cosmic neighbors, the sun's centrality in the galaxy, the Milky Way's centrality among the galaxies, and even the centrality of protons, neurons and electron in the cosmic recipe.
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