From Brian Greene, one of the world's leading physicists, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way.
Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past?
Greene uses these questions to guide us toward modern science's new and deeper understanding of the universe. From Newton's unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein's fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics' entangled arena where vastly distant objects can bridge their spatial separation to instantaneously coordinate their behavior or even undergo teleportation, Greene reveals our world to be very different from what common experience leads us to believe. Focusing on the enigma of time, Greene establishes that nothing in the laws of physics insists that it run in any particular direction and that "time's arrow" is a relic of the universe's condition at the moment of the big bang. And in explaining the big bang itself, Greene shows how recent cutting-edge developments in super-string and M-theory may reconcile the behavior of everything from the smallest particle to the largest black hole. This startling vision culminates in a vibrant eleven-dimensional "multiverse," pulsating with ever-changing textures, where space and time themselves may dissolve into subtler, more fundamental entities.
Sparked by the trademark wit, humor, and brilliant use of analogy that have made The Elegant Universe a modern classic, Brian Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.
1. Roads to Reality. Space, Time, and Why Things Are as They Are
2. The Universe and the Bucket. Is Space a Human Abstraction or a Physical Entity?
3. Relativity and the Absolute. Is Spacetime an Einsteinian Abstraction or a Physical Entity?
4. Entangling Space. What Does It Mean to Be Separate in a Quantum Universe?
5. The Frozen River Does Time Flow?
6. Chance and the Arrow Does Time Have a Direction?
7. Time and the Quantum. Insights into Time's Nature from the Quantum Realm
8. Of Snowflakes and Spacetime Symmetry and the Evolution of the Cosmos
9. Vaporizing the Vacuum. Heat, Nothingness, and Unification
10. Deconstructing the Bang What Banged?
11. Quanta in the Sky with Diamonds Inflation, Quantum Jitters, and the Arrow of Time
12. The World on a String
The Fabric According to String Theory
13. The Universe on a Brane Speculations on Space and Time in M-Theory
14. Up in the Heavens and Down in the Earth Experimenting with Space and Time
15. Teleporters and Time Machines Traveling Through Space and Time
16. The Future of an Allusion Prospects for Space and Time
Suggestions for Further Reading Index