A book about understanding the universe by a leading physicist
may fail to sound like leisurely reading, yet Brian Greene, author
of the astounding book, “The Fabric of the Cosmos,” gives an
entertaining grand tour of the universe.
The book, number three on the non-fiction New York Times
Bestsellers List, shows our world to be very different from what
common experience leads us to believe.
Space and time are the “fabric of the cosmos” and they remain
among the most intriguing and mysterious concepts.
Greene poses many questions, including space as an entity, time
having direction and the universe existing without space and time.
Greene frames his book around these thoughts, guiding his readers
toward modern science’s new and deeper understanding of the
universe. The book draws from a multitude of scientific theories
including Newton’s unchanging realm — where space and time are
absolute – and Einstein’s fluid conception of space-time and
quantum mechanics — where vastly distant objects can bridge their
spatial separation to instantaneously coordinate their behavior or
even undergo teleportation.
Written to accommodate people not well-versed in quantum physics
or other scientific theories, even a creative writing major could
read it without too much difficulty. Laced with wit and humor,
Green makes reading about incredibly complex theories much less
Greene takes readers step-by-step through sixteen chapters plus
illustrations to tackle the theory of universal reality. He also
interweaves analogies and personal experiences to reach a wide
His language reflects a deep passion for science and a gift for
translating concepts into poetic images. When explaining, for
example, the inability to see the higher dimensions inherent in
string theory, Greene writes, “We don’t see them because of the way
we see … like an ant walking along a lily pad … we could be
floating within a grand, expansive, higher-dimensional space.”
The book may prove to be a difficult bedtime read as deep
thought about mind-stretching theories that keep the reader awake
and pondering for hours. I recommend this as a
I-have-a-serious-amount-of-time-on-my-hands summer read.