Physics of the Impossible : A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
A fascinating exploration of the science of the impossible--from death rays and force fields to invisibility cloaks--revealing to what extent such technologies might be achievable decades or millennia into the future.
One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future.
From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals--and the limits--of the laws of physics as we know them today. He ranks the impossible technologies by categories--Class I, II, and III, depending on when they might be achieved, within the next century, millennia, or perhaps never. In a compelling and thought-provoking narrative, he explains:
* How the science of optics and electromagnetism may one day enable us to bend light around an object, like a stream flowing around a boulder, making the object invisible to observers "downstream"
* How ramjet rockets, laser sails, antimatter engines, and nanorockets may one day take us to the nearby stars
* How telepathy and psychokinesis, once considered pseudoscience, may one day be possible using advances in MRI, computers, superconductivity, and nanotechnology
* Why a time machine is apparently consistent with the known laws of quantum physics, although it would take an unbelievably advanced civilization to actually build one
Kaku uses his discussion of each technology as a jumping-off point to explain the science behind it. An extraordinary scientific adventure, Physics of the Impossible takes readers on an unforgettable, mesmerizing journey into the world of science that both enlightens and entertains.
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)
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Showing 1-5 of the 5 most recent reviews
1 . Interesting and Intuitive
Posted June 22, 2010 by Cody Akins , Holliday, TexasThis book was wonderful! It was an extremely interesting topic, and keeps your attention until the very end. Kaku seems very knowledgable and passionate about the topic, which gives the book some major credentials. Even if you aren't an avid physics nerd like me, this book is easy to understand (for the most part) and interesting. Overall, a great, enriching, and interesting read.
2 . Despite some confusing parts, this is a great book.
Posted October 14, 2009 by John , EdisonThis is an interesting book that even some teenagers interested in physics can understand. Sometimes, an object that Kaku is explaining might tie in with something else or another class of impossibility and may be a little difficult to understand. Otherwise, this is a very good book that i would recommend to people that are interested in science fiction of physics.
3 . Great book
Posted June 01, 2009 by Bekir , Ankara, TurkeyWho is interested in science, in science fiction should read it. Very well written with fine irony, easy to understand for casual reader. You will need to read some parts several times not for understanding but for taste.
4 . The Future for the Rest of Us
Posted March 16, 2009 by jasonelnino , OlympiaVery good, quick and engrossing read for anyone with a passing interest in future technology. The author manages to hold the interest of the reader by discussing complex concepts in easily relatable anecdotes and terms.
5 . Pretty entertaining.
Posted April 06, 2008 by chance.williams77 , MDThis was an interesting read, well written and entertaining. I breezed through it much more quickly than I expected. The only things I didn't like were that I wish there were some more chapeters, and the flow is a little confusing at times (is this technology he is discussing a Class I, II, or III impossibiity? Oh, it's all of the above. Wait, wha!t?)
March 10, 2008
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