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Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos [Kindle Edition]

Michio Kaku
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.70
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Well-known physicist and author Kaku (Hyperspace) tells readers in this latest exploration of the far reaches of scientific speculation that another universe may be floating just a millimeter away on a "brane" (membrane) parallel to our own. We can't pop our heads in and have a look around because it exists in hyperspace, beyond our four dimensions. However, Kaku writes, scientists conjecture that branes—a creation of M theory, marketed as possibly the long-sought "theory of everything"—may eventually collide, annihilating each other. Such a collision may even have caused what we call the big bang. In his usual reader-friendly style, Kaku discusses the spooky objects conjured up from the equations of relativity and quantum physics: wormholes, black holes and the "white holes" on the other side; universes budding off from one another; and alternate quantum realities in which the 2004 elections turned out differently. As he delves into the past, present and possible future of this universe, Kaku will excite readers with his vision of realms that may exist just beyond the tip of our noses and, in what he admits is a highly speculative section, the possibilities our progeny may enjoy countless millennia from now; for instance, as this universe dies (in a "big freeze"), humans may be able to escape into other universes. B&w illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Scientific American

In the end, as our universe is dying, will civilization be able to move to another universe? Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, thinks the possibility of such a transition appears in "the emerging theory of the multiverse--a world made up of multiple universes, of which ours is but one." Our universe is now expanding. "If this antigravity force continues, the universe will ultimately die in a big freeze." That is a law of physics. "But it is also a law of evolution that when the environment changes, life must either leave, adapt, or die." Moving to another universe is one possibility cited by Kaku. Another is that civilization could build a "time warp" and travel back into its own past, to an era before the big freeze. A third is that "an entire civilization may inject its seed through a dimensional gateway and reestablish itself, in its full glory." Kaku is good at explaining the cosmological ideas--among them string theory, inflation, wormholes, space and time warps, and higher dimensions--that underpin his argument.

Editors of Scientific American


Product Details

  • File Size: 792 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (March 14, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000GCFCL4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
236 of 244 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A designer world? February 28, 2005
Format:Hardcover
Michio Kaku's discussion of PARALLEL WORLDS results from physicists' attempts to reconcile Einstein's Theory of Relativity with that of quantum mechanics to form a "theory of everything." M-Theory, the newest form of string theory, allows for the possibility of a parallel universe no more than a millimeter from ours. Kaku believes the newest super collider, which should be ready in 2007, may reveal evidence pointing to this alternate universe.

Another theory, Alan Guth's inflationary universe theory, argues that the universe expanded much faster than the speed of light (possible because this was empty space that was expanding) and that the antigravity force which caused this original Big Bang still exists, allowing for more explosions, more inflation, and multi-universes.

Also, if we apply the quantum theory to the universe, we are forced to admit that the universe, like an electron, may exist simultaneously in many states.

Kaku asks the question, "What might these alternate universes look like?" Kaku theorizes that each time a new universe sprouts off from the original the physical laws change, creating entirely new realities. All of this gets even stranger when Kaku projects that all possible quantum worlds might exist simultaneously.

The author does not shy away from controversial issues, such as the Designer Universe. At one point he compares the likelihood of our world occurring by accident to a "Boeing 747 aircraft being completely assembled as a result of a tornado striking a junkyard."

PARALLEL WORLDS really gets interesting when Kaku discusses Nikolai Kardashev's classification of civilizations according to energy output. Type I would have harnessed planetary forms of energy.
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159 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Current cosmology for a lay audience August 27, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think it was Niels Bohr, the great Danish physicist, who told his fellow scientists many years ago that they had an obligation to try to enlighten laymen about the latest findings of science. This was not long after Einstein's theories of relativity and the development of quantum mechanics had demonstrated that the world in which we live and thrive was much stranger than previously thought. The comfortable and intuitive cosmos, as described by Newtonian mechanics, had been superceded by a world view that seemed not only bizarre, but even incomprehensible.

This new book by Michio Kaku is one of the latest efforts by leading-edge scientists to fulfill that felt need recognized by Bohr. Targeting the educated layman, Kaku addresses his audience in a manner that is both entertaining and non-intimidating. Instead of mathematical descriptions, he relies on everyday analogies to convey his meanings. He includes a good measure of the history behind the theories, spiced with anecdotes and humor. While tackling an inheritantly difficult subject matter, he has succeeded in making it about as accessible as it could possibly be for a lay audience.

I emphasize that this is an up-to-date account. Just a few years ago, some physicists were merely speculating about the possibilities of multiple universes, parallel worlds, time travel, worm holes...things that sounded then more like science fiction than fact. Data only recently acquired by the WMAP satellite and the rapid development of string theory (and its latest incarnation, M-theory) have caused many of the best minds to not only entertain the possibility of such phenomena but, in many cases, consider them necessary corollaries to any credible Grand Unified Theory ( i.e., a "theory of everything.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read on the subject June 21, 2006
Format:Paperback
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
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great book and he writes it in laymen's level of ...
Wow, great book and he writes it in laymen's level of understanding!
Published 2 days ago by Dianne Lipscomb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Even though it is a little complicated still a great book.
Published 5 days ago by Seraphina
5.0 out of 5 stars Science
Still unparalleled in the sciences. I will have read everything Mr. Kaku has written and look forward to more.
Published 11 days ago by Joseph A. Rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book for someone like me who is was not familiar with...
Very interesting book for someone like me who is was not familiar with new theories in physics and cosmology. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Michio Kaku is one of my favorite physicists, because he is able to explain complex theories in a way that the layman can understand. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Aspiring Scientists
This book is a great read for anyone who wants to dive into the colorful world of physics. Michio Kaku's writing is simplistic and easy to understand, yet it bears mentioning that... Read more
Published 26 days ago by daniel patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars I just love physics but I'm a layman on the subject
I just love physics but I'm a layman on the subject. This book puts lot's of a complex subject into a simple perspective. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fernando D'Andrea
5.0 out of 5 stars Never expected a book on String Theory to be so entertaining
Although long, it is a well written and easy to understand book on M-Theory / String Theory. It explains the Theory in layman terms without resorting to presenting Greek Letters... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Media Critic
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
For someone who's a beginner in the physics of the universe, its a great read with a ton of information. Its great to dive head first into a vast field, as a beginner.
Published 3 months ago by Asjad Athick
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
Michio Kaku has a gift of the ability to explain complex matters in understandable language. I would highly recommend this.
Published 3 months ago by JRM
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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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