|Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
|List Price: $15.95
Our Price: $9.06
You Save: $6.89 (43%)
In this thrilling journey into the mysteries of our cosmos, bestselling author Michio Kaku takes us on a dizzying ride to explore black holes and time machines, multidimensional space and, most tantalizing of all, the possibility that parallel universes may lay alongside our own.
Kaku skillfully guides us through the latest innovations in string theory and its latest iteration, M-theory, which posits that our universe may be just one in an endless multiverse, a singular bubble floating in a sea of infinite bubble universes. If M-theory is proven correct, we may perhaps finally find answer to the question, “What happened before the big bang?” This is an exciting and unforgettable introduction into the new cutting-edge theories of physics and cosmology from one of the pre-eminent voices in the field.
- Best book I've read on the subject
I've read half a dozen books attempting to explain the essentials of cosmology, the big bang, quantum mechanics, string theory, dark energy, and other facinating, but horrendously difficult, concepts. Kaku does better at helping my feeble mind understand the origin, the composition, and the ultimate fate of the universe than any other author I have encountered. Moreover, this book is up-to-date -- published in 2005 -- and given recent developments in theory any book over about 5 years old will be a bit behind the times.
In Chapter One, Kaku summarizes in simplified form what he will discuss in the rest of the book -- and lo-and-behold I could understand it! He then gives a brief history of cosmology and delves into the development of cosmological thought. I stumbled through a lot of the material, but his writing and examples, often drawn from science fiction, were interesting, although not always comprehensible to me.
The most unique part of the book was his speculation that a near infinite number of different universes may exist in different dimensions and that someday, a billion or so years hence, we may learn to pass from one to another. In fact, as he points out, it may become necessary for the survival of the human race when our old star begins to burn out. Confirmed atheists may be offended by his frequent references to what sounds a lot like "God." His speculations on the nature of future civilizations, the possibilities of time travel, and man's search for the "theory of everything" were fascinating.
For the general reader who wants to take a tour of our universe -- its largest and smallest elements -- this is an excellent introduction.
Smallchief ...more info
- An Important Modern Day Physics Book
Michio Kaku is one of the most significant theoretical physicists of our day, and this is his signature work. Besides providing a basic history of astrophysics knowledge and concepts, Dr. Kaku discusses the possibility of parallel universes, multiple dimensions, and even time travel. Our universe may in fact be an offshoot of another universe, possibly from a (theoretical) white hole. Once regarded as science fiction, many of the concepts Dr. Kaku discusses in this book are increasingly becoming accepted by scientists as plausible facts.
Most of this book will be easily understandable for the average lay person. However, much of the book is spent on string theory. If you don't have at least some education in college level physics, some of this may be difficult to understand (not to mention a little dry). That said, Dr. Kaku does a better job than most in explaining in. All in all, this is an important book explaining some of the most cutting edge theories and concepts in modern physics. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in astronomy or astrophysics. ...more info
- Excellent Reading For Any Technical Skillset
Michio has done an excellent job at describing the current understanding of the Universe, based on the latest proven theories. He has the ability to reach out to all skill levels. This is simply the best book I have ever read regarding the Universe. Thanks to my good friend and colleague, Neal Bailey, for recommending this book....more info
- A wonderful book for the intelligent lay person
As an applied physicist/electrical engineer who received his Ph.D. in 1952, and who has never taken an interest in particle physics, but has always been a devoted reader of science fiction, "Parallel Worlds......" is endlessly fascinating, and strangely enough, even suggests, that physics has shown that our universe is such a wonderful place, that it may even have had a designer! The whole book does not contain a single equation, but does assume that the reader has a knowledge of at least basic modern science. For instance Kaku talks reasonably glibly of concepts such as absolute zero, Maxwell's equations, Einstein's general relativity theory and of course quantum mechanics. I borrowed this book from our local library, but will definitely have buy my own copy. I will close with a quote from the book: "Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself".
Professor Kaku is not only a brilliant interpreter of modern physics to us lay people, but also a science fiction devotee. He quotes many science fiction authors in such a way as to enhance the beauty and majesty of his topic....more info
- Good Overview for the Layman
This is the first book I have read in this field and I was encouraged to read it when I overheard an NPR discussion with Kaku while washing the kitchen floor one day. For me the power of this book (and of the man himself) is its ability to excite the interest of the layman. As a wannabe teacher, I find Kaku's presentation to be brilliant in terms of his ability to excite his audience and give them 'wow' moments. Sure, maybe he doesn't present a totally complete and unbiased opinion of the subject matter (although I am not one to judge this), but he may spur the interest of a few of the next generation of comologists and to for me that is what is important - keeping people informed and turned-on to science so that they will pursue the subject and generate the next round of discoveries. I recommend this to all who love to learn. I only wish I could attend Kaku's lectures......more info
- An infinity of worlds
There may come a time when you are at a bookstore and you see Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku on the shelf. Will you buy it? Yes and no. In one set of universes you do, in another you don't. If you think you might be in one of that first set of realities, you will likely be reading a book that is entertaining and informative, though by no means perfect.
Parallel Worlds is divided into three general parts which move from solid facts to pure speculation. In the first section of the book, we get a good overview of the history of cosmology and see how the Big Bang theory developed and why it is firmly established as the best explanation of how the universe developed. The second section moves into the more theoretical realm of stings and branes; while these theories offer a good mathematical basis for the structure of matter, they have yet to be proven through observation (primarily because such observations are beyond our current technological abilities). The final part of the book deals with the possibilities of alternate universes, time travel, wormhole travel and the future development of civilization.
The first two parts are clearly written and make sense of often complex subjects. Cosmology and quantum mechanics explain the structure of things on completely different levels. With cosmology (and astronomy), we look at the super-large: star systems, galaxies, etc. and the theories of relativity. With quantum mechanics, we are in the subatomic realm. Usually, the two areas are completely separate so the theories don't conflict, but in extreme circumstances, they converge and problems develop. These circumstances include black holes and most significantly, the Big Bang itself. To deal with these conflicts, new theories have been developed, notably string theory. This is a theory that is (to say the least) rather complicated and often requires some very esoteric mathematics, but Kaku does a reasonable job at making it understandable.
The third section, more than anything shows, that Kaku has a not-so-secret desire to be a science fiction writer. His affection for the genre is obvious (based on his references to books and movies), and this section is often so speculative as to be borderline fiction itself. That is not necessarily bad, but it is a departure from earlier text.
I actually think the best readership for this book would be aspiring science fiction writers. For such an audience, Kaku provides a scientifically valid (if still unproven) set of ideas about parallel worlds and other concepts that can be used as a foundation for all sorts of stories. For others who have read similar books in the past (such as Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe or Timothy Ferris's The Whole Shebang), this book doesn't offer much that is new, but rather just presents familiar material in a simpler manner. If you haven't read those other books, however, this is a good introduction to this still-developing area of science.
- An excellent explanation of status quo physics
In this book, Michio Kaku, a leading theoretical physicist, discusses the current state of the search for a unified theory to explain everything, from quantum physics to relativity and everything in between. In layman's terms, he discusses the history of string theory and M-Theory, the current form of string theory, and what it all means in terms of the possibilities of alternate universes, time travel, and the origin of the universe. Kaku discusses the possibilities of more than 3 spacial dimensions, as implied by the theory. Kaku goes on to discuss the ultimate fate of the universe: a continual expansion resulting in temperatures too cold to support life, or a crushing implosion resulting in temperatures too hot to support life. Kaku discusses the possibility that M-Theory may increase our understanding of the universe (or multiverse) enough to be able to travel into a different universe, or back in time, before our universe collapses. Kaku ends with a philosophical discussion on our place in the universe and what the point of it all is.
If you have read Kaku's book "Hyperspace", some of this book will be review, as he includes some of the same concepts of extra dimensions in this book.
Kaku explains the science in such a way that the layperson can understand it fairly well. He doesn't go into much mathematical detail; he only explains enough so that the reader understands what the theory means and doesn't get bogged down with all the details. This is what makes Kaku's writing great. His books, such as this one, are written for those who haven't studied physics in depth but who are interested in what is going on in the field of physics and the search to understand the universe.
The bottom line: Kaku is a great resource for the latest developments in theoretical physics and our understanding of the universe....more info
- AMERICA'S 25 BEST BOOKS ON UFOS AND EXTRATERRESTRIALS. THE LIST.
AMERICA'S 25 BEST BOOKS ON UFOS AND EXTRATERRESTRIALS. THE LIST.
Americans love lists. A trend that has started in 1960-1965; I felt it first hand while a student in Boston. Today, there are lists of the best; lists of the worst; lists of everything.
I never thought, some could spend quality time assembling charts and lists on the best of UFOs' and extraterrestrials books. Actually there are a sizeable amount of lists pertaining to that effect. So I joined in. However, I did it my way; scholastically.
If you had a child or an elderly at home, what sort of UFO and extraterrestrials books would you give him or her for direction, or as a gift? Not an easy task, I can tell you that! Nevertheless, I have some good ideas.
BOOKS THAT HAVE DEPTH AND ORIGINALITY:
Meaning deep thoughts, and serious contents. In other words, pioneering research and new material.
Book 1: ANUNNAKI ENCYCLOPEDIA.
Author: Maximillien de Lafayette. Ph.D.
Book 2: THE LOST BOOK OF ENKI: MEMOIRS AND PROPHECIES OF AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL GOD.
Author: Zecharia Sitchin.
Book 3: BOOK OF RAMADOSH: 13 ANUNNAKI-ULEMA MIND POWER TECHNIQUES TO LIVE LONGER, HAPPIER, HEALTIER...PARANORMAL, ALIEN LIFE.
Author: Maximillien De Lafayette, Ph.D.
Book 4: PARALLEL WORLDS: A JOURNEY THROUGH CREATION, HIGHER DIMENSIONS, AND THE FUTURE OF THE COSMOS.
Author: Michio Kaku, Ph.D.
Book 5: ANUNNAKI, UFOS, EXTRATERRESTRIALS & AFTERLIFE GREATEST INFORMATION AS REVEALED BY DE LAFAYETTE: SELECTIONS FROM HIS 50 YEARS OF STUDYING WITH ANUNNAKI ULEMA, HIS SECRET FINDINGS & HIS WRITINGS.
Author: Maximillien De Lafayette, Ph.D.
Book 6: DE LAFAYETTE MEGA ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UFOS, EXTRATERRESTRIALS, ALIENS ENCOUNTERS & GALACTIC RACES: UFOLOGY FROM A TO Z: TIME-SPACE, TRAVEL, ANUNNAKI, GRAYS, HYBRIDS, ABDUCTIONS, PARALLEL UNIVERSES. Author: Maximillien De Lafayette, Ph.D.
Book 7: THE UFO ENIGMA: A NEW REVIEW OF THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.
Author: Peter A. Sturrock, Ph.D.
Book 8: UFOS AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE: CHRONOLOGY OF A COVERUP, 1941-1973.
Authors: Richard M. Dolan and Jacques F. Vallee, Ph.D.
Book 9: ON THE ROAD TO ULTIMATE KNOWLEDGE:
Authors: Maximillien de Lafayette, Ph.D., and Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.
Book 10: CAPTURED! THE BETTY AND BARNEY HILL UFO EXPERIENCE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD'S FIRST DOCUMENTED ALIEN ABDUCTION. Authors: Stanton T. Friedman, and Kathleen Marden.
Book 11: FLYING SAUCERS AND SCIENCE: A SCIENTIST INVESTIGATES THE MYSTERIES OF UFOS: INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL, CRASHES, AND GOVERNMENT COVER-UPS.
Authors: Stanton T. Friedman, Edgar Mitchell, Ph.D. and Bruce Maccabee, Ph.D.
Book 12: NEED TO KNOW: UFOS, THE MILITARY, AND INTELLIGENCE.
Author: Timothy Good.
Book 13: THE DAY AFTER ROSWELL.
Authors: Late Colonel Philip J. Corso and William J. Birnes, Ph.D.
Book 14: TWELFTH PLANET: BOOK I OF THE EARTH CHRONICLES (THE EARTH CHRONICLES).
Author: Zecharia Sitchin.
Book 15: GENESIS REVISITED: IS MODERN SCIENCE CATCHING UP WITH ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE?
Author: Zecharia Sitchin.
Book 16: EXTRATERRESTRIALS, UFO, NASA-CIA-ALIENS MIND BOGGLING THEORIES, STORIES AND REPORTS: Anunnaki, Zeta Reticuli, Area 51, Abductees, Whistleblowers, Conspirators. The Real & THE FAKE.
Author: Maximillien De Lafayette, Ph.D.
Book 17: THE ANUNNAKI'S GENETIC CREATION OF THE HUMAN RACE.: UFOS, ALIENS AND GOD, THEN AND NOW.
Author: Maximillien De Lafayette, Ph.D.
Book 18: ALIEN AGENDA: INVESTIGATING THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL PRESENCE AMONG US.
Author: Jim Marrs.
Book 19: STRANGE SKIES: PILOT ENCOUNTERS WITH UFOS.
Author: Jerome Clark.
Book 20: 460,000 YEARS OF UFO-EXTRATERRESTRIALS BIGGEST EVENTS AND SECRETS FROM PHOENICIA TO THE WHITE HOUSE: FROM NIBIRU, ZETAS, ANUNNAKI, SUMER TO EISENHOWER, MJ12, CIA, MILITARY ABDUCTEES, MIND CONTROL.
Author: Maximillien De Lafayette, Ph.D.
Book 21: THE ROSWELL LEGACY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE FIRST MILITARY OFFICER AT THE 1947 CRASH SITE.
Authors: Jesse, Jr. Marcel, Linda Marcel, and Stanton T. Friedman.
Book 22: DARK MISSION: THE SECRET HISTORY OF NASA.
Authors: Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara.
Book 23: TOP SECRET/MAJIC: OPERATION MAJESTIC-12 AND THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT'S UFO COVER-UP.
Authors: Stanton T. Friedman, and Whitley Strieber.
Book 24: DISCLOSURE : MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT WITNESSES REVEAL THE GREATEST SECRETS IN MODERN HISTORY.
Author: Steven M. Greer.
Book 25: ABOVE TOP SECRET: THE WORLDWIDE UFO COVER-UP.
Author: Timothy Good.
List compiled by Zaki Abaza, Ph.D.
Date: 10 March 2009.
this book is very good view of the physics of the new millenium..michio kaku really knows what he's talking about and im sure this isn't his last book on this topic...more info
- I understood it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This has to be the best book on this subject. After suffering thru a brief history of time and a briefer history of time this was what I was looking for the whole time I was about to give up on Cosmology as a Pseudoscience until picking this up.Mr. Kaku seems to understand and relate to people not just science a good writer and a good read. ...more info
- Well written, covers a lot of material
I was quite impressed to find that this book touched on every subject I had expected or just hoped for, and more. Not only does it contain an update on the most current understanding of our universe and the possibilities of a greater "multiverse" of parallel universes; it also gives a historical view of how we got there, including some background knowledge and stories about the great physicists who got us this far.
I am a physics student and hence have some background knowledge that aids in understanding, but the author doesn't assume readers to have a physics background and does a good job of explaining things in a down-to-earth manner. I can highly recommend this book to anybody who is curious about what the latest science has to say about any of the following:
The universe, its beginning and its end, dark matter, dark energy, wormholes, black holes, multiple theories for parallel universes (relativity, quantum and string theory all suggest them as a possibility), string theory, higher dimensions, possibilities of travelling in spacetime and other dimensions, teleporting, travel faster than the speed of light, development of civilizations and what our future may look like (e.g. how we can manage to escape when our spot in spacetime becomes uninhabitable)....more info
- This is a pretty darn good book.
What I really liked about this book is that it explained very advanced cutting edge theories of the universe, time and physics in such simple terms. It is amazing how well this book is written. It is said that a real genius appears to be a very common man because they can communicate on the most simplest of terms. This writer is such a person. If there is one book that you need to get to understand the nature of the universe, then this is that book. It is amazing. Just amazing....more info
- String Theory is In! Cool
1. The Wilkinson Microwave anisotropy probe (WMAP) satellite was launched in 2001 giving an unprecedented view of the Universe. The WMAP satellite
2. The age of the Universe is 13.7 billion years.
3. The temperature of space is 2.7249 to 2.7251 degrees Kelvin.
4. 73 percent of the Universe is made of dark energy. Dark energy is thought to create a new anti-gravity field which is driving galaxies apart. Alan Guth inflationary scenario, in the first trillionth of a second, a mysterious antigravity force caused the universe to expand much faster than thought. The inflationary period was unimaginably explosive, expanding faster than light.
5. Andrei Linde proposes self-reproducing inflation or chaotic inflation, tiny patches of a universe suddenly inflating giving birth to a new universe.
6. String theory and M-theory are based on simple and elegant idea that subatomic particles are made up of strings similar to notes one can play on a violin string or on a membrane of a drum head. The strings and membranes exist in ten and eleven dimensional hyperspace.
7. M-Theory has the ability to unify the theory of relativity with quantum theory. Only in ten or eleven dimension hyperspace do we have enough room to unify all the forces of nature in a single elegant theory.
8. A field is a mathematical object that assumes different values at every point in space. The field measures the strength of the magnetic, electrical, or nuclear force at any point in the universe. The fundamental description of electricity, magnetism, nuclear force, and gravity is based on fields. The field theory of strings allows the entire content into one equation.
9. The symmetries of string theory gave it its beauty and power. Strings reside on 2 dimensional surfaces. For string theory to describe both gravity and subatomic world, it meant that strings would on be 10 pow -33 long (planks length).
10. Schwartz and Green showed that string theory is free of anomalies, the theory of everything.
11. Strings can interact by splitting and rejoining, thus the interactions among electron and protons in the atom. Subatomic particles are different vibrations on the string.
12. The lowest vibration of the string, a spin two particle with zero mass, can be interpreted as a graviton, a particle or quantum gravity. The stronger the vibration on the string, the stronger the influence on other gravitons.
13. Kalzua discovered, if you manually separated out the fourth-dimensional pieces contained within the five dimensional equation for the theory or relativity, Maxwell's theory of electromagnetic force tumbles out. Maxwells complex equations emerge effortlessly as the simple vibrations found in the fifth dimension. Higher dimension vibrations reproduced W and Z bosons and gluons found in weak and nuclear forces.
14. Ten dimensions were unstable, six curled up into a ball, and the other four expanded outward in the big bang.
15. In super symmetric theory, all the subatomic particles have a partner: each fermion is paired with a boson. Super symmetric as the potential of unifying all atomic particles into one simple symmetry.
16. Einsteins equations on gravity could become super symmetric if introduce a new field, super gravity. Super gravity was based on point particles.
17. Lisa Randall thought of the universe being a membrane. Randall focused on the fact that gravity is astronomically small. Electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, and the strong force are roughly the same and gravity is wildly different. The masses of quarks are smaller than the mass associated with quantum gravity separated by sixteen orders of magnitude. Randall assumed the universe was a three-brane floating in a five dimensional world. The vibrations on the three-brane corresponded to the atoms around us. The vibrations can not leave the three-brane.
18. The inverse square law of gravity works perfectly for planets, stars, and galaxies. Nowhere in space do we find an inverse cube law for gravity. Dimopoulus suggested maybe the fifth dimension is not infinite but is a millimeter aw from ours. Randall suggested the fifth dimension was infinitely far from us. The three-brane has a gravitational pull preventing gravitons from drifting freely into the fifth dimension. Gravity is diluted and weakened as it leaves the three-brane and drifts into the fifth dimension. Randall introduced the possibility of a second brane where gravity interacts across the two membranes.
- The wonders of the universe!
This is a very enlightening and enjoyable book. Kaku discusses the universe from the smallest atoms to the vastness of the universe. The novel is really quite straight-forward, discussing the most recent developments in cosmology, particle physics and string theory. Kaku discusses the beautiful nature of the universe in terms of the possibility of 10 dimensions, a sea of multiple universes, the possibility of time travel and so on. Although not as poetic as some other books I've read, it's full of information and discussion of the universe, with some interesting discussion of the potential role of a higher being in the universe. I also like the discussion of the potential end of the universe and how advanced beings might survive by finding a path to a parallel universe.
Parallel Worlds gives a wonderful introduction to all of these strange, yet very real developments in science, which almost sound like science-fiction at times. The possibility of parallel worlds interests me greatly and I love learning about the beautiful universe we live in, so I enjoyed reading Kaku's book, which was quite informative. ...more info
- The Best Book since Carl Sagan 's Age
This is a book that follows the style of Carl Sagan, but it is not Carl Sagan ! Dr. Michio Kaku provide a path of light into the M theory. This is not a simple scientific book it is the main stone in the foundation of new knowledge....more info
- Interesting, at times hard to follow
Surely, Prof. Kaku knows his subject matter, and he knows how to write. His explanation of string theory and M theory were understandable for a layman like me.
However, when he applied this to cosmology, it became confusing for me: There seem to be endless possibilities for baby universes, multiple universes.... it almost sounded more like science fiction. Surely, this is due to my limitations, rather than to Prof. Kaku's knowledge of the subject matter. It seems, that a firm understanding of our universe(es)is still far away.
- Rating for Parallel Worlds
I haven't read through the entire book yet - I've only gone through and read parts here and there, enough to know I will really enjoy reading this book. I always see this author on television shows regarding the same and simalar subject matters and became interested enough in his commentaries to purchase this book. I have no scientific background and this book seems easy enough to read and comprehend, and that was a big plus in my opinion!
Also, delivery was very prompt and I am very satisfied with this purchase!...more info
- This is the one
I've read most, if not all, of the recent series of published books on this particularly interesting and complicated subject, and this is the one. The most understandable of them all. Clearly written with the non professional in mind. Michio Kaku presents all the information of what isn't the most easily understood of subjects in a fashion which allows for an enjoyable reading experience of the ever changing and sometimes reinvented theory that comes tantalizingly close to the much sought after Holy Grail Theory of Everything. (wow, wasn't that a long sentence.) ...more info
- Great book on cosmology!
This book gives a better view of cosmology and the exploration of other "worlds". The reason I gave this book a 4-star rating is that it sometimes goes into a little too technical detail, which can be a little bit confusing for the beginning reader of cosmology books. For the most part, this book explained a lot about cosmology, and gave me a greater sense of the world we could really be living in....more info
- A pleasure to read
Serious, scientific, up-to-date, well-written, well-priced, easy-to-read, humorous at times, great writing style for a scientist. Worthy of your time, bookshelf space and money. Kaku digs in very deep without getting tiring or confusing. Highly highly recommended....more info
- briliant..... you will never look at the world in the same way
hello . this book is so facanating it is hard to belive. literly after you read about the quantum paralel worlds part you never ever look at the world in the same way.also i was ten when i read this book and still found it facanating and 100% comprehend able. because of this book and many others by michio ka ku i want to be a theoretical phisisist. i hope you buy this book. happy reading^_^...more info
- Serious Science
Michio Kaku presents the world of physics and cosmology in a way that casual science fans can appreciate. The primary theme of this book is the ultimate fate of the universe and whether intelligent life will be able to escape its fate. The most interesting theory he proposes is that intelligent beings will be able to escape a dying universe by traveling to a parallel universe which is at a younger stage. When you read this, you'll be really surprised to see that the world of physics is almost alien to the world of common sense. To give an example, string theory proposes that all matter in the universe is nothing but the vibration of strings or cosmic music. I really recommend this for those who would like to get some insight into the world of physics and cosmology, but don't want to burn too many brain cells with the mathematics of the field....more info
In giving three stars to this book I don't mean to deride Professor Kaku's abilities in any way. This is instead a reflection of what I felt I got out of it as someone more focused on ideas that are applicable to human consciousness and human behavior than theoretical physics. Even if science isn't our main interest, I think we should all try to acquire at least a general picture of the direction of current scientific thinking, because what scientists are thinking will most likely impact us personally in some way sooner or later. But there are limits to the amount of data we(or perhaps I should say I!)can assimilate on a purely abstract level before reaching a saturation point. After that, its the same principle as continuing to pour liquid into a cup which is already full. Unfortunately, Professor Kaku's book seems to show more clearly than anything else that there is a huge gulf between people who can master the advanced mathematical skills needed to understand modern physics theory and those who can't. According to Kaku, theoretical physicists advance theories by using brainbusting mathematical computations to arrive at equations of great "beauty" and symmetry. Anyone can basically understand Newton's laws intuitively because they are derived from the macro level of nature which we inhabit. After that understanding is progressively challenged by each advance. Einstein's theory of relativity, at a stretch, can be somewhat intuited by someone at my level, by visualizing space-time as a fabric that is curved. But when we get to quantum theory and the paradoxes it presents to our scale of perception, its hard for me to see how anyone could really get a grip on this theory unless they understood the workings of the mathematics which produced it. Up to this point, however, I still feel comfortable in accepting what the scientists tell us is probably true - because ,as Professor Kaku tells us, quantum theory has been empirically verified by observation. After this point seems to be where the great gulf separates us laymen from the scientists. String theory, M-theory, parallel universes, wormholes, baby universes popping into existence in hyperspace, are none of them testable by experiment. They are all constructions arrived at mathematically. The best evidence for their existence is that the equations used to derive them are "elegant". I find that personally I can form no visual concept(or any other kind of concept for that matter)for any of these hypotheses. I simply have to take the Professor's word for it that a certain beautiful equation indicates that the universe is actually composed of eleven dimensions, instead of the three spatial ones and that of time to which we are accustomed. I have a penchant for finishing books I start, so I did read the entire book. I felt that most of it was interesting to some degree. The history of physics up to string theory was a good recap and provided some entertaining anecdotes about Einstein, Bohr, and others who were in the forefront of modern physics. I also thought his philosophical musings on the meaning of science in human terms was worthwhile. He was careful, in my opinion, to present a balanced summary of the views of physicists about the philosophical and theological ramifications of their work. But I would have to say that a good third of the book was about as unfathomable to me as the dark matter which he says makes up most of the universe. This dark matter cannot be seen and can only be deduced by very indirect methods. In the same way, I felt that sometimes I got a very indirect glimpse of what he was talking about, but by no means a clear picture. I would not make the claim that other laymen might not possibly find this book more illuminating than I did. I only hope that if some of these strange theories prove to have predictive value which enhances their validity, that better metaphors or clearer explanations can be devised which will assist the less scientifically advantaged of us to at least accept them, if not understand them. Otherwise the community of scientists may find themselves an elite group cut off in their understanding of the cosmos from the bulk of humanity. It will be increasingly harder for the rest of us to wholeheartedly support such incomprehensible and esoteric research. So I am asking that my three-star rating be considered in the context of my level of understanding. From my observation of people around me, though, I am pretty sure there are a good number of others who fit into my category. So, those who feel they are beyond this level might justifiably be more influenced by the four- and five-star reviews....more info
- Asking the Fundamental Question
Often times we find ourselves getting trapped in our own logic and in our own minds... much like Plato's story of the prisoners in the cave. There really can not possibly be any "minds", but just a mind. The number 1 barrier that face theoretical physicists today is the assumption that a universe was created for them to observe. Some of them know it deep heartidly but still choose a detached viewpoint. "I am here and I am observing the universe out there". Is that really a valid assumption? How can truth be brought to light through such a detached viewpoint of separation when the very definition of truth itself is that it is unchanging and whole....more info
- Wormholes, Quarks, Symmetry and Kaku
I had to keep telling myself, "This is not science fiction; this is really what physics tells us through evidence!" Proofs for the fantastic theories in this book come through mathematics, the language of physics. If one does not speak the language, words have to suffice, but they are a very poor second.
The first revolution in cosmology began in the 1600's with the telescope, Copernicus, Kepler, Gallileo, and Newton, culminating in Newton's laws and the delineation of planetary motion. The second revolution came with the great telescopes of the 20th century, Einstein, Hubble, Hoyle, Gamow, and "The Big Bang." This book is about the third revolution, beginning shortly before the new century, and is about discoveries from high tech instruments, satellites, lasers, gravity wave detectors, & supercomputers. We can count on cosmology being heavily in the news during this decade and the decades to come.
I'm not a physicist, but I managed to make it through this superb book. To anticipate how much trouble you might have, I suggest you peruse the helpful 20-page glossary. If you have at least a vague idea of maybe a third of the entries, you will make it through the book.
The author attempts to reconcile his subject matter with God toward the end of the book. He goes back and forth before ending up with a feel-good sort of "Gaia" or universal cosmic presence. Some scientists have trouble being satisfied with the idea of "nothing" so they have to throw in "something." Daniel Dennett in "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" cleverly calls this malady a "Sky Hook."
Anyway, for those brave enough to briefly leave the safe world of today and travel into the world of tomorrow, this is your book. It's full of vibrating strings, worm holes and speculation. Mark Twain once said, "There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of facts." I don't know if that quote fits this book, but there are definitely too many fantastics "facts" in the Quantum world for me to fathom. Perhaps if I knew more math... ...more info
Definitely, TWO THUMPS UP!!! This is one of the best book for fun read among all books I have ever read for more than thirty years. The topic is a hard-chew, but Michio Kaku made it so soft you can swallow as easily as milk. It is not a surprise why so many complete physics lay persons read this book and all of a sudden became in the know about modern physics. Yes, this book is that great, very easy to read and at the time very thorough! But, more importantly, perhaps most importantly to me, the book is so much fun to read!!! I have read many sci-fi books, but this book is probably much more fun than any sci-fi's that I know. This is why I used to often read this book whenever I got some headache. It gives very fresh refreshment like rural breeze. I do not often recommend a book for a read to friends because they are just different from me in many points. But, for this book I strongly recommend anybody to give it a try. You will never get disappointed for sure....more info
The first two parts of the book, contains the history of cosmology up to today. The third and most interesting part brings up the controversy of God in the creation of the universe. Kaku gives prospective of the top cosmologist as well as his view in the part. Also in this last part a very inspiring talk on mankind, where we are and where we are trying to go.
I found this book very informative and inspiring....more info
- Cosmology made clear: a major feat in divulgative science
This Author deserves praise for being one of those few science writers that really know how to divulge science to the layperson without oversimplfying it. I find this book rich in information, interresting speculations and intriguing hypotheses. There is also an honest unbiased appraisal of modern theories,from the famous and somewhat over-vaslued "string theory" to the most bizarre "hologram" theory.Carl Sagan and Isaac asimov would have liked this book!...more info
- Fascinating Book! Technical, but a good read
I bought this for my husband for Christmas. We've seen Michio Kaku on various "The Universe" shows on the History Channel and although I find it interesting, my husband really likes reading this stuff. he thought it was a very interesting book...it makes you think for sure! If you're a space geek, you'll love it....more info
- Great Effort
I am in the midst of reading this right now, and so far am finding it wonderfully accessible in ways that Hyperspace was not. I think Kaku has really found his voice for the lay person with this effort. I seem to be 'getting it' in ways that are very gratifying and rare. I had been rereading Hyperspace when this book arrived. How nice to feel I'm understanding some concepts very clearly!...more info