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The Elegant Universe

Uploaded by gmmoxley on Jun 06, 1999

Part I: The Edge of Knowledge Chapter 1: Tied Up with Strings This is the introductory section, where the author, Brian Greene, examines the fundamentals of what is currently proven to be true by experimentation in the realm of modern physics. Green goes on to talk more about "The Basic Idea" of string theory. He describes how physicists are aspiring to reach the Theory of Everything, or T.O.E. Some suspect when string theory is completely understood that it might turn out to become the T.O.E. Part II: The Dilemma of Space, Time, and Quanta Chapter 2: Space, Time, and the Eye of the Beholder In the chapter, Greene describes how Albert Einstein solved the paradox about light. In the mid-1800's James Maxwell succeeded in showing that light was actually an electromagnetic wave. From this he concluded that light always travels at the speed of light. It never slows down. Einstein asked the question: "What happens if we chase after a beam of light, at light speed?" From reasoning based on Newton's laws of motion, one can assume that the light would appear stationary. But according to Maxwell's theory, light cannot be stationary. Einstein solved this problem through his special theory of relativity. Greene continues with his explanations of the special theory of relativity. Chapter 3: Of Warps and Ripples Green begins the chapter by describing "Newton's View of Gravity" and continues by discussing the incompatibility of Newtonian Gravity and Special Relativity. The author also talks about how Einstein discovered the link between acceleration and the warping of space and time. Greene also discuses the basic aspects of General Relativity. He later points out how the two theories of relativity effect black holes, the big bang, and the expansion of space. Chapter 4: Microscopic Weirdness This chapter describes, in detail, the workings of quantum mechanics. The author tells of how waves are effected by quantum mechanic. He also discusses the fact that electromagnetic radiation, or photons, are actually particles and waves. He continues to discuss how matter particles are also matter, but because of their h bar, is so small, the effects are not seen. Green concludes the quantum mechanics discussion by talking about the uncertainty principle. Chapter 5: The need for a New Theory: General Relativity vs. Quantum Mechanics This chapter compares the theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics. It shows that relativity mainly concerns that microscopic world, while quantum mechanics deals with the microscopic world. But there are some...

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Uploaded by:   gmmoxley

Date:   06/06/1999

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,063 words)

Views:   1607

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