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

Michio Kaku , Robert O'Keefe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

How many dimensions do you live in? Three? Maybe that's all your commonsense sense perception perceives, but there is growing and compelling evidence to suggest that we actually live in a universe of ten real dimensions. Kaku has written an extraordinarily lucid and thought-provoking exploration of the theoretical and empirical bases of a ten-dimensional universe and even goes so far as to discuss possible practical implications--such as being able to escape the collapse of the universe. Yikes. Highly Recommended.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
209 of 215 people found the following review helpful
By Spiff
Format:Paperback
Hyperspace is a book strongly focused on higher-dimensional space-time theories such as superstring and Kaluza-Klein-type. The 10 dimensional theory promises to vastly simplify the laws of nature and end our view of a three dimension universe. Kaku manages to compile lots of information in a very readable and fascinating book. You will understand how 10-D theories are basically simple and geometric, despite their mathematical complexity (which actually opened up new areas of mathematics).
Higher dimension theories allow us to reduce enormous amounts of information into a concise, elegant fashion that unites the two greatest theories of the 20th century: Quantum Theory and General Relativity.
Michio covers the basics of the theory, and its future implications for the future of physics and science, and even writes a few pages on the debate between the reductionism and holism in nature, and the aesthetic relation among physics, mathematics, religion and philosophy. The book flows very smoothly, never burying the reader under too many technical facts. It introduces higher dimension concepts, its relationship with currently accepted theories and the unification of all forces in ten dimensions.
Part 3 of the book starts getting heavier on astrophysics, covers Wormholes and potential gateways to other universes, black holes, parallel universes, time travel and colliding universes. Never Hollywood material, but the typical Stargate fan will probably still love this part. :-) Part 4 ends the book with thoughts on how mankind would can rule the universe if Hyperspace can be mastered, discussing the fate of the universe and its civilizations. Subjects like Entropy death, escape thru hyperspace and universal colonization are covered. Interesting, but lots of early speculation.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jouney into higher dimensional reality January 1, 2001
Format:Paperback
Though it is impossible to visualize higher dimensions and difficult for most of us to understand the equations involved in this technical field, Michio Kaku, who has become the "Carl Sagan" of our time, does an excellent job of helping lay readers comprehend hyperspace. The concept of higher dimensions, which was formerly introduced in 1854 by Geog Riemann, was not taken seriously because it was an untestable theory and lost credibility upon the introduction of quantum theory in the early twentieth century. Reinman believed that the forces of nature such as electricity, magnetism, and gravity were just effects caused by the crumpling or warping of hyperspace, an idea that Albert Eisntein revived in his theory of general relativity. In this comprehensive and often humouous work, Kaku takes the reader from the fictional characters of Charles Hinton to Relativity and String theories; both of which have revived interest in higher dimensional reality. If you thought, like me, that you could never come close to understanding the concepts of hyperspace, this book will surely bring you within reach of this understanding, while providing a sound background in the history and development of higher dimensions.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Third Dimension August 7, 2000
Format:Paperback
Everyone of us were born to comprehend the 3-dimensional world that we live in, and most of us would view time as the forth. In "Hyperspace", Kaku introduces the concept of dimensions beyond the third, and what these dimensions mean to us. Apart from talking about the possibilities of deriving a unified theory of all physical laws in higher dimensions, wormholes were also described in details as to how they could be used for travelling between different dimensions and universes, and more interestingly, how they could be used to travel through time. Most of the concepts were backed by examples and stories (including those of Kaku's childhood memories) which, not only allows the readers to easily grasp them, but also makes them more interesting to follow. However, one may start to wonder how on earth could Kaku's parents allow (and assist) their child to perform such horrific experiments!
This book was written primarily for the general public. Having said this, some moderate background and interests in physics are necessary, but then again you probably wouldn't be reading this review to start with if you weren't interested in "Hyperspace", right?
To sum up, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to find out more about the higher dimensions. Although there were occasions when I felt that Kaku has gone into too much details on the stories he quoted, which themselves could have been another interesting read if I wasn't told of the endings...
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good book for contemplating the inifinte December 3, 2002
Format:Paperback
This is book definitely written for the layperson, but the author does no condescension when explaining complex details to the reader. No deep mathematics, no proofs, just a good book for the average person to enjoy and understand. The best book on the market for understanding the complications of the limitations of the space-time continuum of the world we live in.
Don't confuse "hyperspace" with "hypercube". "Hypercube" is a study in mathematics regarding four dimensions without time, while this book discusses as much in detail about "hyperspace", a study of dimensions up to ten. The book is actually on the higher study of physics, not mathematics, but of course, mathematics is a part of the book, if only on a limited basis.
Very interesting on the string theory, where dimensions of 10 and/or 26 are required. Also, all the competing theories are discussed, including the fact that Einstein himself was uncomfortable with studies beyond the fourth dimension. This is all discussed, very aptly, with a view to have the reader himself put on the physicist's shoes, so to speak, and comprehend creating some of theses theories, along with the rest of the academia bunch.
Diagrams and pictures are included to help the reader visualize some of this, even if it is in a limited way. Very helpful.
Einstein claimed that imagination was more than 90 percent of true scientific inquiry. I wouldn't agree with him entirely, especially in fields such as biology, but for physics study and a good review of the all the theories concerning higher dimensions, I would agree more with Einstein than not. I would even recommend this book to one comtemplating a future serious study in physics or math. I wouldn't be without it.
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More About the Author

Michio Kaku is the co-founder of String Field Theory and is the author of international best-selling books such as Hyperspace, Visions, and Beyond Einstein. Michio Kaku is the Henry Semat Professor in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York.


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