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The Elegant Universe

Brian Greene


Study Questions

Essay Topics

1. What are the various obstacles facing string theorists today? How do they hope to overcome these obstacles?

2. Why is the big bang theory, as currently postulated, incomplete? How do string theorists hope to fix this problem and use string theory to explain the origin of the universe?

3. Explain the importance of the word elegance to Greene’s conception of the universe.

4. What are the shortcomings of the standard model? What does it exclude?

5. According to string theory, how do the smallest units of matter behave?

6. How did Einstein redefine gravity? How do string theorists hope to incorporate it into a single Theory of Everything?

7. How are strings and point particles different? In which ways—if any—are they similar?

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