String theorist and author of The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and a brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts. The Washington Post described him as “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.”
Greene’s national bestseller, The Elegant Universe, which recounts the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics, transformed our understanding of the universe and introduced string theory, a concept that might be the key to a unified theory of the universe. The book sold over a million copies and became an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning NOVA special that Greene hosted.
His second book, The Fabric of the Cosmos, spent six months on The New York Times Best Sellers list and was adapted into a NOVA miniseries on PBS. Greene's latest bestseller, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, was published in January 2011.
His illustrated novella, Icarus at the Edge of Time, retells the Greek myth in a futuristic light. Greene and David Henry Hwang adapted the story to be a film and symphonic performance in collaboration with composer Philip Glass; the world debut was in the spring of 2010.
In 2015, Greene's original play, Light Falls: Space Time and an Obsession of Einstein, premiered at the World Science Festival in New York City. Light Falls is now available as an audiobook starring Greene, Paul Rudd, and a score by Jeff Beal.
Brian Greene co-founded The World Science Festival in 2008. As the WSF Chairman, Green made it the Festival’s mission to take science out of the laboratory, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating to the general public. In 2014 Greene and the World Science Festival launched World Science U, a series of free online courses led by Greene.
Called "a charismatic speaker" by Publishers Weekly, he considers lecturing "a form of performance,” and according to Newsweek, "Greene's theatrical lectures — which include lots of metaphors, cool 3-D visuals and dry humor — routinely draw hundreds." Greene has a knack for explaining complex theories in plain language and brings narrative tension and passion to his storytelling.
A Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Greene is a professor in Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University. His work has been published in Wired Magazine and The New York Times. Greene appeared as himself in a 2011 episode of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. He has been a guest on Charlie Rose, Nightline, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report.
- Brian Greene Discusses the Higgs Discovery at Aspen Ideas Festival (2012)
- What's the Big Idea? (2008)
- Greene Explains That Whole Special Relativity Thing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- Greene on the Importance of Science Education (2010)
- Dr. Greene explains the discovery of Gravitational Waves (2016)
- Brian Greene on Colbert Report (2011)
- Brian Greene at TED Talks (2008)
- Icarus at the Edge of Time (2008)
For many, science brings to mind memories of a difficult or boring or irrelevant or intimidating subject once studied in school but long since left behind. To be sure, the general public values the fruits of science and technology, but science itself is, for many, best left to the scientists. Which is tragic. Science is our species’ most dramatic story of discovery. Instilling this perspective calls for a radical shift, in which science moves from the outskirts to the center of culture. In this talk, audiences explore key breakthroughs in science and grasp how abstract discovery can impact the all-too-human quest to understand how we fit into the cosmos.Read More >
Building upon his own revolutionary breakthroughs, as well as those of an earlier age, Albert Einstein dreamed of a single theory — perhaps encapsulated by a single mathematical equation — that would be able to explain all of nature’s forces. Einstein spent 30 years in valiant pursuit of the unified theory but came up empty handed. In the decades since, physicists have picked up where Einstein left off, and have made great strides, with some of their most well-developed approaches involving microscopic strings, extra dimensions of space, and possibly even other universes. In this dispatch from the frontier of physics, audiences go on a whirlwind journey across 300 years of thinking, to learn the state-of-the art in searching for the deepest laws of the universe.Read More >
During the past hundred years, our understanding of the universe has been subject to three revolutionary upheavals that have swept away thousands of years of conventional thought. These discoveries serve as case studies into the kind of creative reasoning that shatters conventional wisdom and synthesizes new approaches and new answers to the most perplexing of puzzles. By showing the impact of questioning hidden assumptions, the power of asking the seeming simple-minded questions to which everyone already “knows” the answer, and the value of melding diverse viewpoints to produce what no single perspective could yield on its own, this talk illustrates the key elements of breakthrough thinking within the fascinating narrative of modern physics.Read More >
Innovation, exploration, and discovery are deeply ingrained in human nature, and the keys to their success transcend disciplines. Professor Greene uses three stories from the frontiers of science to examine how essential features — staying the course while shedding expectations, maintaining individuality while working collaboratively, accepting failure while pushing for success — can coalesce into breathtaking results. Sparking new insights, this presentation explores how we can unleash our innate drive to innovate.Read More >
In an evening of art and science, world-renowned physicist Dr. Brian Greene adapts and transforms the mythical flight of Icarus into a theory-driven adventure, Icarus: At the Edge of Time. Melding state-of-the-art visual effects, an original orchestral score by Philip Glass, and Greene’s own passion for helping audiences of all ages discover the secrets of the universe, Icarus is a performance that has the same edge of your seat quality of a sci-fi quest, yet one that is grounded by real world science.
About the Program…
Icarus: At the Edge of Time takes audiences on a journey through scientific wonder and high-speed adventure. Dr. Brian Greene opens the show by introducing the science of relativity and black holes and the possibility of time travel that they offer. With that as a launching pad, Greene brings the science to vivid life, narrating his own futuristic version of the flight of Icarus, in which a young astronaut challenges the awesome might of a black hole. Featuring a live orchestral accompaniment and a visually arresting video feature, the evening is an experience of film, music, and science that is not to be missed.
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The single greatest upheaval in our understanding of the universe comes from Quantum Mechanics. Developed nearly a century ago to understand the universe’s finest ingredients, quantum mechanics has resulted in the most accurate theory ever developed but also the strangest. Particles and waves, probabilities, quantum entanglement, and possibly other worlds are all features that may very well have a home in this most powerful description of nature. Learn how a single generation of thinkers used theory and experiment to rewrite the rules of reality and, in the process, revolutionized modern life.Read More >
- Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein
- The Hidden Reality
- The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
- Icarus at the Edge of Time
- The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006
- The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality