Josh Syre - Pd. 5 - Barnes

Greene's Purpose

Greene begins with the key question: what is reality? Or more specifically: what is spacetime? He sets out to describe the features he finds both exciting and essential to forming a full picture of the reality painted by modern science. In almost every chapter, Greene introduces basic concepts and then slowly builds to a climax, usually a scientific breakthrough. Greene then attempts to connect with his reader by posing simple analogies to help explain the meaning of a scientific concept without oversimplifying the theory behind it.

  • Greene takes on such lofty subjects as the nature of time, space, quantum mechanics and reality itself. He also discusses abstract ideas, such as the fact that empty space is anything but empty, and the notion that time per se may be a vast illusion.

Personal Opinion / Correlation to ESS

The way Greene introduces the general idea of space time and several other scientific concepts relating to that is written in a way to show a newcomer to such ideas – me – all while keeping intrigued in the book; but also keeps one who knows these concepts well-balanced and not repetitive when reading it. Our first few topics spoken over in ESS regarding stars and galaxies, the Big Bang Theory, and the formation of the universe are entirely related to this book. Greene's text on all these topics helps show students interested in this class/theories of the universe at a different perspective.


  • “Cosmology is among the oldest subjects to captivate our species. And it’s no wonder. We’re storytellers, and what could be more grand than the story of creation?” (Greene, Fabric of the Cosmos)
  • “Physicists have come to realize that mathematics, when used with sufficient care, is a proven pathway to truth.” (Greene, Fabric of the Cosmos)

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