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Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension [Hardcover]

Michio Kaku
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 1994 0195085140 978-0195085143
Are there other dimensions beyond our own? Is time travel possible? Can we change the past? Are there gateways to parallel universes? All of us have pondered such questions, but there was a time when scientists dismissed these notions as outlandish speculations. Not any more. Today, they are the focus of the most intense scientific activity in recent memory. In Hyperspace, Michio Kaku, author of the widely acclaimed Beyond Einstein and a leading theoretical physicist, offers the first book-length tour of the most exciting (and perhaps most bizarre) work in modern physics, work which includes research on the tenth dimension, time warps, black holes, and multiple universes. The theory of hyperspace (or higher dimensional space)--and its newest wrinkle, superstring theory--stand at the center of this revolution, with adherents in every major research laboratory in the world, including several Nobel laureates. Beginning where Hawking's Brief History of Time left off, Kaku paints a vivid portrayal of the breakthroughs now rocking the physics establishment. Why all the excitement? As the author points out, for over half a century, scientists have puzzled over why the basic forces of the cosmos--gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces--require markedly different mathematical descriptions. But if we see these forces as vibrations in a higher dimensional space, their field equations suddenly fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, perfectly snug, in an elegant, astonishingly simple form. This may thus be our leading candidate for the Theory of Everything. If so, it would be the crowning achievement of 2,000 years of scientific investigation into matter and its forces. Already, the theory has inspired several thousand research papers, and has been the focus of over 200 international conferences. Michio Kaku is one of the leading pioneers in superstring theory and has been at the forefront of this revolution in modern physics. With Hyperspace, he has produced a book for general readers which conveys the vitality of the field and the excitement as scientists grapple with the meaning of space and time. It is an exhilarating look at physics today and an eye-opening glimpse into the ultimate nature of the universe.

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From Publishers Weekly

Since ingesting Einstein's relativity theory 50 years ago, physics fell down a quantum rabbit hole and, ever since, physicists' reports to the world of popular science have been curiouser and curiouser. This version, from the author of the graduate text Quantum Field Theory , is very curious as he delineates the "delicious contradictions" of the quantum revolution: that the new paradigms of subatomic matter require the existence of "hyperspace," an ultimate universe of many dimensions, to accomodate their mostly mathematical behaviors. Unified field theory as it is currently understood does not preclude any of the hypotheses that Kaku invites to this Mad Hatter's Theory Party: superstrings, parallel universes and, his centerpiece, time travel. Although occasionally facile, Kaku remains on solid theoretical ground up to the point of his untestable hypotheses, which lead to his more abstract arguments. In the past decade particle physics has lurched to astonishing contradictions and Kaku's adventurous, tantalizing book should not be penalized for promising more than present technology can test. His intellectual perceptions will thrill lay readers, SF fans and the physics-literate. Illustrations.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With erudition and wisdom, Kaku (physics, CUNY) has written a fascinating overview of the major scientists, discoveries, and ideas involved in an ongoing quest for synthesizing quantum mechanics and relativity physics into a superstring theory of our entire universe (unifying gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces). His clear and concise exposition in cosmology explores many topics, ranging from subatomic particles (e.g., quarks and leptons), exobiology, and black holes to wormholes, time travel, and other universes. Kaku stresses that modern physics still needs a more powerful topology mathematics in order to understand completely our expanding and evolving cosmos. Of value for both specialists and general readers, Hyperspace is an engaging and intriguing book. Highly recommended for all science collections in academic and public libraries.
- James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
TWO incidents from my childhood greatly enriched my understanding of the world and sent me on course to become a theoretical physicist. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fluff May 25 1999
If you are thinking about reading this book then PLEASE consider reading Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe" instead. It does a much better job on string theory and it is more current with the latest scoop on the second superstring revolution.
The second half of Hyperspace is light on content. There is a lot of filler. After reading it, I thought that it was because there was not much else in the way of superstring theory advances. Hyperspace is truly outdated because of its '94 print date. The second superstring revolution began in 1995 which means you are missing out on a number of recent advances. Greene's book gives you the full history of string theory plus the most recent work which was much more fufilling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lucid discussion of difficult concepts Aug. 27 2002
Hyperspace by Michio Kaku is a very lucidly written account of the multidimensional approach to a unified field theory, of the possibility of parallel universes, of superstring theory of particle physics, and of the future of intelligent life and the fate of the universe. That's quite a feat in 334 pages, but he does a superb job of putting these complex concepts across for the non-math/physics types like myself. I had some difficulty getting through his discussion of superstring theory, of which he is one of the primary architects, but the other aspects of the text were more comprehensible. His style is very conversational, and he often calls upon his own experiences as a student, as a human being, and as a peer with others in the field to illustrate some aspects of his topics. The illustrations, though few, are clear and helpful. The bibliographical entries are a little old for a book written in 1994, many from the late 70s and early 80s. I've read some of the entries in the past and enjoyed most of them. They will definitely give one a thorough background in the recent history of physics and cosmology. I've put several of them on my wish list for later purchase. Notes to the chapters are full of additional historical and explanatory data of interest and are worth taking the time to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OldSciFiDog June 23 2001
Having been seperated from what is happening in Physics for over 30 years and seeing some of the interesting (understatement) stuff my daughter, majoring in physics, was encountering, I decided to find out if I could understand a little about this "thing" called String Theory.
After reading some reviews on Michio Kaku's outrageous title "Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension" I discovered some outrageous stuff.
Michio Kaku presentation is full of history and understandable science even for a wantabescientist like myself (I am an embedded software engineer). I found the historical connections to scientific discovery fascinating (for one of those genius kind of guys, Michio writes an intersting tale of facts and conjecture).
While I was concerned that it may contain mathematics beyond all I have forgotten, I discovered that this was unfounded, as Michio takes the time to decribe everything in terms non-mathematical (yea I know, hard to believe).
In summery, this is not only a good read, it will blow you away. I finshed this book, I read his other book on Hyperspace which is the same subject but from a "maga view" versa "down and dirty?" (by the way it does not matter the order you read these books if you are so inclined).
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 HYPERSTARS June 2 2000
This book was one of the most AMAZING books I have ever read. It expanded my consciousness to an explosion that created and/or activated a new way of thinking, dreaming, and changed my entire being. (bowing to Mr.Michio Kaku), to have this effect on people. With the super intense subject manor, it's amazing how he put it in simple terms that the lay people can comprehend. The examples, stories, and excerpts from other books were put together very cleverly. I can not say enough about this book and it's author. This book puts a new classification in the words "theoretical physics". I had no idea that I and others would be effected in this way. A total life change from just one book. "Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension" is a must! Way more "out there" than most made up si-fi. Who needs fiction with factual books like this. VERY IMPRESSIVE! I give this book 5 x 1000000000 hyper stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Oct. 2 2000
This is excellent. I came to this book with very little background on the subject...a glancing knowledge of relativity and of quantum mechanics. Michio Kaku presents the material in a very accessible manner, leading the reader the history and evolution of the theories that lead up to Superstring theory. This has the advantage of giving the reader a framework and a context within which to place each additional bit of knowledge and the advantage of humanizing the story. I strongly recommend this book for anyone with even a slight interest in the topic, whatever your background may be. For those who have no knowledge of the subject, Michio Kaku is an excellent and amusing teacher. For those who understand Hyperspace and Superstring theory, this may give you an historical context for your knowledge and present you with ways to explain this complicated subject to others. Kudos to Kaku and O'Keefe
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book. Read it!
This is simply one of the most engrossing, intelligent, and comprehensible science books I've ever read. Read more
Published on June 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and comprehensible..
This is a most enjoyable and elucidating science book. The publication affords a painless understanding in its chosen area of theoretical physics. Read more
Published on June 8 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Pop physics at its best
Great "pop" physics. Easy to understand mathematical models and imagery help explain to the layman some of the more interesting theories of grand unification. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2002 by Peter Barney
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT for theoretical physicists
I praise Kaku's lucid literary writing style, but condemn everything else about this popular physics book. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous!
Fabulous book. It plainly explains theoretical physics of the higher dimensional type. Another good book if you like this one is the Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
Published on Jan. 21 2001 by C. Doke
4.0 out of 5 stars A tour of weird worlds and multidimensional propaganda
It almost looks open-minded. Michio Kaku has pulled off a superb piece of multidimensional propaganda for a ``state-of-the-art`` academic ``science`` in urgent dead need for... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and easy to understand
This book does a great job of summarizing the complexities of superstring theory and its history in a way that is easy to read and understand. Read more
Published on July 8 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Intellectual and Beginning Physicist
No, this book was not written for the theoretical physicist who wants to understand the intricate details of string theory! Read more
Published on June 24 1999
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