Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Russ Allbery
Susan Stepney
Tom Armstrong
Popular Science
Anthony Campbell
Richard Seltzer

Brian Greene

The Elegant Universe

String theory is thought by many to be the best possibility for a unified theory of physics. In The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Brian Greene gives a non-technical overview of this theory. The book starts with an introduction to various parts of modern physics, such as quantum theory, special and general relativity as well as particle physics. Greene then explains the quest for unification, and why the unification of gravity and quantum theory has presented such problems. He goes on to introduce string theory as a proposed solution to these problems, and shows how it incorporates supersymmetry (and so is sometimes known as superstring theory) as well as explaining where all the extra dimensions come in.

In the later part of the book Greene discusses the cosmological implications of string theory, looking at their behaviour in the early universe as well as how they come into the theory of black holes. There's also a look at M-theory, which brings together different versions of string theory. The book concludes with a look at the future of string theory (although it was written before most of the current controversy about the subject started).

Some of the concepts involved in string theory can be hard to grasp, but Greene is a skilled writer and for those of you wanting an introduction to the theory, I would say that this book is probably your best choice. info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 009928992X
Salesrank: 13240
Weight:0.97 lbs
Published: 2000 Vintage
Amazon price £8.63
Marketplace:New from £1.69:Used from £0.01
Buy from info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 0375708111
Salesrank: 546597
Weight:0.95 lbs
Published: 2000 Vintage
Amazon price CDN$ 14.99
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 14.19:Used from CDN$ 0.31
Buy from

Product Description
The international bestseller that inspired a major Nova special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works. 'Compulsively readable...Green threatens to do for string theory what Stephen Hawking did for holes' New York