Book Reviews
  Last update:  May 2010

All of my interests can essentially be categorised under three areas:

  1. Human spirituality;
  2. Human philosophy; and
  3. the human quest for an understanding of the make up of our universe. The search for a framework that describes the fabric of reality. 

All of the books and texts that I read, even the movies I watch are those that deal with these three things.  I have read many books on the topic of the make up of our universe, and over the years I have gained an enormous understanding of how we think things work.  But there were always areas that I just could not grasp.

As a lay person in the field of theoretical physics I struggled with some of the more subtle elements of General Relativity and Quantum Theory.  Indeed the weirdness of the quantum world eluded me somewhat for a long time.  I had the kind of understanding that meant that when I read through some books in the past I understood what I was reading, but could not explain or apply that knowledge.  Then I read Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe .

Using car chases, spaceships and fun-park rides, and an incredible talent for concise yet detailed explanation Brian takes us on a tour that starts at the edge of our universe, expanding our view of the cosmos on the largest of scales. He describes to us the movement of planets, the dance of light and the symphony that played in Einstein's mind.  Then, with careful preparation he points us head first into the probability froth of the subatomic, quantum fabric.  And just when your head begins to spin like a Strange Quark, Brian Greene throws you a metaphor that gives you back your balance.

Apart from being just an explanation of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, The Elegant Universe is an explanation of String Theory... the promising unifying framework that ties together both of the other two theories and provides an elegant methodology for describing how quantum probability eventually shakes out to provide the unfolding of black holes, the warping of space-time and the expansion of our universe.

With the same care and structure, Greene navigates the current day thinking on Superstrings and our quest for a TOE  ... (Theory of Everything).  For those of you who enjoy being at the edge of human understanding... this book is a must!

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