# Search - List of Books by Brian Greene

*"Sometimes attaining the deepest familiarity with a question is our best substitute for actually having the answer." -- Brian Greene*

**Brian Greene** (born February 9, 1963) is an American theoretical physicist and one of the best-known string theorists. He has been a professor at Columbia University since 1996. Greene has worked on mirror symmetry, relating two different Calabi-Yau manifolds (concretely, relating the conifold to one of its orbifolds). He also described the flop transition, a mild form of topology change, showing that topology in string theory can change at the conifold point. 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.

*"A unified theory would put us at the doorstep of a vast universe of things that we could finally explore with precision."**"How can a speck of a universe be physically identical to the great expanse we view in the heavens above?"**"I have long thought that anyone who does not regularly - or ever - gaze up and see the wonder and glory of a dark night sky filled with countless stars loses a sense of their fundamental connectedness to the universe."**"If the theory turns out to be right, that will be tremendously thick and tasty icing on the cake."**"No matter how hard you try to teach your cat general relativity, you're going to fail."**"Physicists are more like avant-garde composers, willing to bend traditional rules... Mathematicians are more like classical composers."**"The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers."**"We can certainly go further than cats, but why should it be that our brains are somehow so suited to the universe that our brains will be able to understand the deepest workings?"**"We might be the holographic image of a two-dimensional structure."*

Greene was born in New York City. His father, Alan Greene, was a one-time vaudeville performer and high school dropout who later worked as a voice coach and composer. After attending Stuyvesant High School, where he was a classmate of fellow physicist Lisa Randall, Greene entered Harvard in 1980 to major in physics and, having completed his bachelor's degree, went on to earn his doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, graduating in 1987. Brian is also a Vegan since about 1997.

Greene joined the physics faculty of Cornell University in 1990, and was appointed to a full professorship in 1995. The following year, he joined the staff of Columbia University as a full professor; this remains his current position. At Columbia, Greene is co-director of the University's Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP), and is leading a research program applying superstring theory to cosmological questions. He is also one of the FQXi large grant awardees, his project title being "Arrow of Time in the Quantum Universe". His co-investigators are David Albert and Maulik Parikh.

Greene is married to former ABC producer Tracy Day.

### Research

Greene's area of research is string theory, a candidate for a theory of quantum gravity, which attempts to explain the different particle species of the standard model of particle physics as different aspects of a single type of one-dimensional, vibrating string. One peculiarity of string theory is that it postulates the existence of extra dimensions of space — instead of the usual four dimensions, there must be ten spatial dimensions and one dimension of time to allow for a consistently defined string theory. The theory has several explanations to offer for why we do not perceive these extra dimensions, one being that they are "curled up" (compactified, to use the technical term) and are hence too small to be readily noticeable.

In the field, Greene is best known for his contribution to the understanding of the different shapes the curled-up dimensions of string theory take on. The most important of these shapes are so-called Calabi-Yau manifolds; when the extra dimensions take on those particular form, physics in three dimensions exhibits an abstract symmetry known as supersymmetry.

Greene has worked on a particular class of symmetry relating two different Calabi-Yau manifolds, known as mirror symmetry (concretely, relating the conifold to one of its orbifolds). He is also known for his research on the flop transition, a mild form of topology change, showing that topology in string theory can change at the conifold point.

Currently, Greene studies string cosmology, especially the imprints of trans Planckian physics on the cosmic microwave background, and brane-gas cosmologies that could explain why the space around us has three large dimensions, expanding on the suggestion of a black hole electron, namely that the electron may be a black hole.

### Communicating science

Greene is well known to a wider audience for his work on popularizing theoretical physics, in particular string theory and the search for a unified theory of physics. His first book, *Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory*, published in 1999, is a popularization of superstring theory and M-theory. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction, and winner of *The Aventis Prizes for Science Books* in 2000. *The Elegant Universe* was later made into a PBS television special of the same name, hosted and narrated by Greene, which won a 2003 Peabody Award.

Greene's second book, *Space. Time. And the Texture of Reality* (2004), is about space, time, and the nature of the universe. Aspects covered in this book include non-local particle entanglement as it relates to special relativity and basic explanations of string theory. It is an examination of the very nature of matter and reality, covering such topics as spacetime and cosmology, origins and unification, and including an exploration into reality and the imagination.

A book for a younger audience, *Icarus at the Edge of Time* ISBN 978-0307268884, which is a futuristic re-telling of the Icarus myth, was published September 2, 2008. In addition to authoring popular-science books, Greene is an occasional Op-Ed Contributor for the New York Times, writing on his work and other scientific topics.

The popularity of his books and his natural on-camera demeanor has resulted in many media appearances, including *Charlie Rose*, *The Colbert Report*, *The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer*, *The Century with Peter Jennings*, CNN, *TIME*, *Nightline in Primetime*, *Late Night with Conan O'Brien*, and *The Late Show with David Letterman*. It has also led to Greene helping John Lithgow with scientific dialogue for the television series *3rd Rock from the Sun*, and becoming a technical consultant for the film *Frequency*, in which he also had a cameo role. Recently, he was a consultant in the time-travel movie *Déjà Vu.* He also had a cameo appearance as an Intel scientist in 2007's *The Last Mimzy*. Greene was also mentioned in the 2002 *Angel* episode "Supersymmetry" and in the 2008 Stargate Atlantis episode "Trio". Through his film credits, combined with his research publications in mathematical physics, Greene is one of the few people to have a defined Erd?s—Bacon number.

Greene often lectures outside of the collegiate setting, at both a general and a technical level, in more than twenty-five countries. One of his latest projects is to organize an annual science festival held in New York City, the World Science Festival. The first such festival took place in May/June 2008.

### Technical articles

For a full list of technical articles, consult the publication list in the SPIRES database

- R. Easther, B. R. Greene, M. G. Jackson and D. Kabat, " String windings in the early universe
*. JCAP {0502}, 009 (2005).* *
*- R. Easther, B. Greene, W. Kinney, G. Shiu, " A Generic Estimate of Trans-Planckian Modifications to the Primordial Power Spectrum in Inflation". Phys. Rev. D66 (2002). 023518.
- R. Easther, B. Greene, W. Kinney, G. Shiu, " Inflation as a Probe of Short Distance Physics". Phys. Rev. D64 (2001) 103502.
- Brian R. Greene, " D-Brane Topology Changing Transitions". Nucl. Phys. B525 (1998) 284-296.
- Michael R. Douglas, Brian R. Greene, David R. Morrison, " Orbifold Resolution by D-Branes". Nucl.Phys. B506 (1997) 84-106.
- Brian R. Greene, David R. Morrison, Andrew Strominger, " Black Hole Condensation and the Unification of String Vacua". Nucl.Phys. B451 (1995) 109-120.
- P.S. Aspinwall, B.R. Greene, D.R. Morrison, " Calabi-Yau Moduli Space, Mirror Manifolds and Spacetime Topology Change in String Theory". Nucl.Phys. B416 (1994) 414-480.
- B.R.Greene and M.R.Plesser, "Duality in Calabi-Yau Moduli Space". Nucl. Phys. B338 (1990) 15.

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### Books for general readers

- 1999.
*Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory*.
- 2005.
*Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality*.
- 2008.
*Icarus at the Edge of Time*.

**Total Books:** 45