Brian Greene (born February 9, 1963) is a theoretical physicist and one of the best-known string theorists.
He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He joined the physics faculty of Cornell University in 1990, was appointed to a full professorship in 1995, and in 1996 joined Columbia University where he is professor of physics and mathematics. He has lectured at both a general and a technical level in more than twenty-five countries and is widely regarded for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory. He lives in Andes, New York, and New York City.
In his national bestseller, The Elegant Universe, Greene recounts how the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics transformed our understanding of the universe, and he introduces us to string theory, a concept that might be the key to a unified theory of the universe. The book has sold more than a million copies.
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality, spent 6 months on The New York Times bestsellers list and inspired The Washington Post to describe him as "the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today." Greene's other books include Icarus at the Edge of Time and The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos.
In fall 2003 Greene hosted the Emmy Award-winning NOVA special, "The Elegant Universe," on PBS, taking audiences on a thrilling journey through hidden dimensions, superstrings and black holes in a quest to unify the laws of nature.
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A Conversation with Brian Greene
Q: What would you say to people who think they are just not smart enough to
ever fully wrap their minds around the nature of the universe?
A: For most people, the major hurdle in grasping modern insights into the nature of the universe is that these developments are usually phrased using mathematics. But when the impediment of mathematics is removed and the ideas themselves are rephrased in common language, they're not that hard to understand. So, I say: give it a try--and most people do find that they grasp much more than they expected.
Q: Is it a challenge, as a physicist and mathematician to write in a way that everyone can understand?
A: It is a challenge, but for me its both a useful and exciting one. I find that translating cutting-edge research into more familiar language forces me to strip away extraneous details and zero in on the core ideas. Often, this helps me to organize my own thoughts and has even suggested research directions. And it's exciting to see ideas that are close to my heart and those of other researchers in the field reach a wider audience. The questions we are tackling are universal, and everyone deserves the ...
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