Who is Brian Greene?

Who is Professor Brian Greene? Get to know the physicist who made string theory popular!

Early Life

Brian was born in New York in 1963 into a very creative family.

From an early age he showed a keen interest in both music and maths.

In 1980 he went to Harvard to study physics, then gained a doctorate from Oxford in 1987.


In 1990 Brian joined the physics faculty of Cornell University before becoming a professor at Columbia University where he still teaches today.

At Columbia, Brian is co-director of the university’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP).

He also leads a research program applying superstring theory to cosmological questions, and is the director of Columbia University’s Center for Theoretical Physics.


Brian specialises in string theory, and is known for his contribution to the understanding of the different shapes the curled-up dimensions of string theory can take. He also co-discovered mirror symmetry and spatial topology change.

Currently, Brian studies string cosmology. In particular, 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.


Brian has written six best-selling books:

He has also made cameos on The Big Bang Theory and two films. His many appearances on late-night TV with Charlie Rose, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and on The Joe Rogan Experience have been watched by millions.

Personal Life

Brian has been a vegetarian since he was nine years old, and a vegan since 1997.

He and his wife, Tracy, founded the World Science Festival in 2008, with the mission to spread the joy and wonder of science to the general public.

Together they have one son and daughter.

In 2015 a spider that uses waves to hunt prey was discovered in Australia. It was named Dolomedes briangreenei in Brian’s honour.

Brian Greene Live

Brian Greene is touring across Australia and New Zealand to explore the fascinating story of our universe, and along the way remind us of how unique, fragile and meaningful our circumstances are.

Part philosopher and part physicist, don’t expect him to get bogged down in equations – Brian’s passion spills over into discussions of free will, art, religion and ethics, which he examines through the lens of not only a scientist with 40 years experience, but also as a kid whose curiosity knows no bounds.

This event will be your reminder that the vastness of our universe cares little for human beings, so it’s up to us to take charge of our destiny.

Grab your tickets to see one of our generation’s greatest minds in full force.

The Story of our Universe

The Story of Our Universe: An Introduction to Cosmology is a four-week course covering 13.8 billion years of history.

The universe is old. Really old. If its entire history were crammed into one 24-hour day, the first humans wouldn’t arrive until 23:59!

Together we’ll explore this fascinating history. You’ll learn what the early universe was like, how stars and galaxies formed, and how black holes and dark matter work.

You’ll also learn how this story ends—a big freeze where the universe accelerates into a cold and lonely infinitude of nothingness, a big rip where the fabric of spacetime is torn apart at the seams, or something else entirely.

The course is filled with sublime photographs and vivid explanations which are guaranteed to inspire awe, even in the deepest cynic.

With instruction from one of Australia’s leading cosmologists, as well as a community of like-minded peers, you’ll finish this course with a deeper appreciation of our universe’s grandiosity.

Join us as we venture deep into spacetime.