The basis for an Emmy Award–winning three-part presentation of PBS television's NOVA, this book uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to illustrate the beautiful yet bizarre possibilities of superstring theory in modern physics. The theory posits that everything in the universe, from the frantic motions of subatomic quarks to the vast movements of galaxies, are manifestations of microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. Physicist Brian Greene elegantly explains how superstring theory appears to rectify the disagreements between Einstein's theories of relativity and quantum theory, providing the long-sought unified theory of the physical underpinnings of the universe.
"Greene [explores] the ideas and recent developments with a depth and clarity I wouldn't have thought possible. Like Simon Singh in Fermat's Enigma, he has a rare ability to explain even the most evanescent ideas.... He develops one fresh new insight after another.... In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, The Elegant Universe sets a standard that will be hard to beat."—NYTBR