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Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel Paperback – Apr 7 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In this latest effort to popularize the sciences, City University of New York professor and media star Kaku (Hyperspace) ponders topics that many people regard as impossible, ranging from psychokinesis and telepathy to time travel and teleportation. His Class I impossibilities include force fields, telepathy and antiuniverses, which don't violate the known laws of science and may become realities in the next century. Those in Class II await realization farther in the future and include faster-than-light travel and discovery of parallel universes. Kaku discusses only perpetual motion machines and precognition in Class III, things that aren't possible according to our current understanding of science. He explains how what many consider to be flights of fancy are being made tangible by recent scientific discoveries ranging from rudimentary advances in teleportation to the creation of small quantities of antimatter and transmissions faster than the speed of light. Science and science fiction buffs can easily follow Kaku's explanations as he shows that in the wonderful worlds of science, impossible things are happening every day. (Mar. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“[Kaku explores] what we still do not quite understand, those grey areas that are surely the most fascinating part of physics.”
“Kaku's latest book aims to explain exactly why some visions of the future may eventually be realized while others are likely to remain beyond the bounds of possibility. . . . Science fiction often explores such questions; science falls silent at this point. Kaku's work helps to fill a void.”
“A fascinating exploration of the interface between science and science fiction, extremely well researched, lively, and tremendously entertaining.”
—Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao of Physics and The Science of Leonardo
“Mighty few theoretical physicists would bother expounding some of these possible impossibilities, and Kaku is to be congratulated for doing so. . . . [He gets] the juices of future physicists flowing.”
—Los Angeles Times
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Top Customer Reviews
On a more technical note, on a couple of occasions the author has pointed out that when an electron and an antielectron (positron) meet, they annihilate producing "gamma rays at an energy of 1.02 million electron volts or more" (p. 184) and "annihilate one another and create a gamma ray" (p. 278).Read more ›
If books about physics had been this entertaining when I was a child, I'm sure I would have become a theoretical physicist. Professor Michio Kaku begins with ancient beliefs about gods, moves on to science fiction, proceeds through theories proven false, and examines some of the most interesting questions and devices raised by science fiction stories to describe when, if ever, we might see such results. In all but a few cases, he sees hope.
Talk about a ray of sunshine . . . this is a profoundly optimistic book that looks realistically at our geometrically increasing rate of learning how to measure and solve problems about the fundamental characteristics of the universe such as matter, energy, time, gravity, and the universe's origins. I loved it!
If I had a choice between reading this kind of book and even the best science fiction, I would pick this one. Why? Because it helps point the way toward the important questions and the value of answering them. I miss this in most science writing.
Most science writing, by contrast, is either trying to prove too much about current theories or is of little interest to people outside the particular field.
Professor Kaku puts various concepts into one of three bins:
1. Likely to be accomplished or understood in the next 100 years.
2. Likely to be accomplished or understood only after millions of years.
3. Apparently impossible, no matter how much we learn.Read more ›
Michio Kaku takes us on a grand tour of the modern world of physics by grouping topics that either were or are still considered impossible into three large classes - first, those items that don't appear to violate the currently known laws of science and having been considered as impossibilities in times past are either now realities or are verging on reality as technology and experimentation makes progress with such blinding speed; second, items that also don't appear to break the rules as we know them but await the development of technology that is likely centuries or millennia beyond whatever skills we might even envisage at this point in history; and, finally, those things that our current knowledge of scientific law would suggest are genuinely impossible.
Kaku treats the eager science loving reader with a generous and formidable list of topics - force fields, telekinesis and ESP, faster-than-light travel, time travel, parallel universes, perpetual motion, telepathy, phaser weaponry, precognition, antimatter, negative matter, hyperspace travel, extraterrestrials and much more.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I purchased this book after watching one of Kaku's documentaries on BBC. His writing style is very similar to his documentary presentation. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Aman Taxali
If you are curious and want to understand the impossible, this book is it! Very informative, very well written and structured book. Great read.Published 21 months ago by PBader
I was hoping for a book that investigated obscure impossibilities that are revealed by modern physicists. Read morePublished on June 2 2012 by RoyBro
The subject of this book is very good for anybody that like science-fiction. It is well explained, even if it is hard sometimes. Read morePublished on June 3 2011 by mireille
Michio Kaku covers various forms of technology seen or read about in Science Fiction, and discusses the possible physical theories behind them and when we may be able to achieve... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2010 by kipper