Brian Greene

Brian Greene

Brian Greene (born February 9, 1963) is a theoretical physicist and string theorist. He has become known to a wider audience through his books for the general public, The Elegant Universe, Icarus at the Edge of Time and The Fabric of the Cosmos, and a related PBS television special.


  • Physicists are more like avant-garde composers, willing to bend traditional rules and brush the edge of acceptability in the search for solutions. Mathematicians are more like classical composers, typically working within a much tighter framework, reluctant to go to the next step until all previous ones have been established with due rigor. Each approach has its advantages as well as drawbacks; each provides a unique outlet for creative discovery. Like modern and classical music, it’s not that one approach is right and the other wrong – the methods one chooses to use are largely a matter of taste and training.
    • Brian Greene (2000). The elegant universe: superstrings, hidden dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate theory. Vintage Books. pp. 271. ISBN 0-375-70811-1. 
  • The real question is whether all your pondering and analyses will convince you that life is worth living. That's what it all comes down to.
  • Well, a big question is how did the universe begin. And we, cannot answer that question. Some people think that the big bang is an explanation of how the universe began, its not. The big bang is a theory of how the universe evolved from a split second after whatever brought it into existence. And the reason why we’ve been unable to look right back at time zero, to figure out how it really began; is that conflict between Einstein’s ideas of gravity and the laws of quantum physics. So, string theory may be able to - it hasn’t yet; we’re working on it today - feverishly. It may be able to answer the question, how did the universe begin. And I don’t know how it’ll affect your everyday life, but to me, if we really had a sense of how the universe really began, I think that would, really, alert us to our place in the cosmos in a deep way.
    • In response to David Letterman's question, "What do we now know [about the universe] we didn’t know before?"
    • March 23, 2005 David Letterman Appearance

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Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 15:48