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The Hidden Reality of Brian Greene

Updated on November 26, 2014

One of Brian Greene's Latest Books

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Why do I keep torturing myself reading non-fiction science that I can barely understand?

  • Because Brian Greene explains it so well and so eloquently, I can almost remember the explanation the next day.
  • Because the average person (me) deserves to know the secrets of the physical universe.
  • Because these physicists are on to something.

I'm trying something unique with this book review and will purposefully NOT reread any part of the book for the review and see how much of what I read has stayed with me. I feel the more that sticks with me, the more you, the potential reader will get out of his writing.

Author and physicist Brian Greene has been in the spotlight since he wrote his first book and hosted the PBS special 'The Elegant Universe.' The visuals during his explanations are stunning. His voice is easy on the ears. In fact, after reading this book, I got the audio version with his voice. I really wanted to see if listening would help the concepts sink in even more deeply.

Here is some of what I learned from this book (taking a deep breath, here goes).

We are closer to understanding what our universe is made of. There are varying theories leading towards a final unifying theory that will explain the connection between the minuscule workings of particles to the operations of the massive celestial bodies in space.

You know how they say you can measure light as a particle or a wave but not both simultaneously?

One of the 'hot' theories being debated is String Theory. I'm really into this theory because as a musician, the idea of vibrating string particles making up our universe is appealing and makes innate sense to me. By adding the concept of multiple dimensions, the math that explains particles and the math that explains waves turns into ONE MATH THEORY that explains particles and waves as vibrating strings. Measuring them as strings is a better, clearer and more inclusive way to explain particles.

Okay everybody, choose your favorite modern-day-author physicist or astrophysicist and say why!

See results

Where's Pluto?

Now that Pluto has been demoted to a Dwarf Planet, I probably need to put a little tag on my model explaining how it SHOULDN'T be there.
Now that Pluto has been demoted to a Dwarf Planet, I probably need to put a little tag on my model explaining how it SHOULDN'T be there. | Source

Dimensions in Mathematical Form

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Calabi-Yau

Remember the story of the elephant and the blind men? They each describe the animal by the part they touch. Imagine suddenly restoring their sight and they can see the whole elephant. That to me is the String Theory.

Some of these added dimensions are so tiny that not only do we not see them, but mathematically it is very difficult to explain their existence. There still is on-going debate about this.

Mathematician Shing-Tung Yau studied the theories of Eugenio Calabi and developed what is now known as the Calabi-Yau Manifold . This theory (don't ask me how!) explains how these tiny dimensions fit into our own dimensions we live in. One of the striking things about this theory is the exquisite beauty of the mathematics when presented in geometric form.

I'll stop for now. I didn't even get into Greene's multi-verse ideas. He describes much more than the topics I just touched upon. You'll just have to read the book.

Two last words: Higgs Boson

Greene talks about this theory in his book. The exciting thing is that just this year it got proven. The higgs boson particle or the 'God' particle is the missing part of the mathematical puzzle that explains the concept of mass. This particle interacts with other particles to create mass. Which is, everything!!

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