Customer Reviews


135 Reviews
5 star:
 (98)
4 star:
 (24)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


234 of 241 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A designer world?
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...
Published on February 28, 2005 by Dave Schwinghammer

versus
97 of 122 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the great freeze.
I usually don't bother writing reviews unless I find something particularly noteworthy or lacking. In this case I have the unfortunate obligation to report that Michio Kaku has completely missed the mark. I have read most of the available fare that covers theoretical Physics and actually requested this one from my family for a Christmas present. Because of the author's...
Published on March 7, 2006 by Unix Engineer


‹ Previous | 1 214 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

234 of 241 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A designer world?, February 28, 2005
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. Type II would be able to consume the energy output of its star and might even be able to ignite neutron stars. Type III has colonized large portions of its home galaxy and is able to use the energy from ten billion stars. Earth is a rather primitive civilization in contrast. Kaku states that if we reach Type I civilization it may launch a time of "unparalleled peace and prosperity." But that's a big if, considering the greenhouse effect, pollutin, nuclear war, fundamentalism and disease.

Kaku ends his book with a theological discussion of sorts. "If all possible universes exist, what's the point?" he asks. In a quantum universe, parallel selves would exist in parallel universes, with "different life histories and different destinies." Kaku believes that if string theory is eventually confirmed, providing a theory of everything, one must ask where the equation came from.

The author ends on a high note, seeing this as the most momentous time in human history, a time of transition to a type I civilization, a true paradise on Earth, if we can overcome our self-destructive natures.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


156 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Current cosmology for a lay audience, August 27, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.") According to Kaku, we're getting very close to such a theory.

This is heady stuff, presented in a form that makes science fiction, the ramblings of mystics, and the wildest conjectures of amateur cosmologists seem dull by comparison. And it is offered to us by a man who is at the forefront of current physics, a leading theorist in string theory and, most notably, a man who is an expert in assuring that his speculations are not in conflict with known facts.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what science knows today about the past history and nature of our cosmos and what the future may hold. It's an absolutely fascinating read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read on the subject, June 21, 2006
This review is from: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


77 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, Very intresting., February 16, 2005
By 
Mohsin (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am physics student and found this book very interesting. Kaku assumes that you have some prior elementary knowledge of physics and mathematics. It is not like the recent book of Brian Green where he explains many times the details which makes the reading unpleasant and break the tempo e.g. Kaku on symmetry just assume that the reader must have heard of symmetry groups like SU2 and SU3 and on wave functions and probability amplitudes he assumes that reader have some kind of prior knowledge. He doesn't go technical though so you won't find any equation and unnecessary details. It is one of those books which is easy to follow and fun to read. It makes the reader to think about all that theory and equations in QM. I love the way he told about the Feynman path integration. No body told us that before. Lots of equations in physics and mathematics are just another equation but in this book Kaku put meaning to lot of them which not many people can do successfully.

I found this book much better than the Brian Green's Fabric of Cosmos. It is just like when you compare QM text by Shanker and Sakurai. This is much like Sakurai, concise and interesting and easy to read as Griffiths.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one, July 2, 2006
By 
William Oterson (About 60 miles, or so, east of Manhattan.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos (Paperback)
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.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for the intelligent lay person, June 27, 2005
By 
Vernon L. Newhouse (Rosemont, Pennsylvania USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


97 of 122 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the great freeze., March 7, 2006
I usually don't bother writing reviews unless I find something particularly noteworthy or lacking. In this case I have the unfortunate obligation to report that Michio Kaku has completely missed the mark. I have read most of the available fare that covers theoretical Physics and actually requested this one from my family for a Christmas present. Because of the author's credentials, the recent copyright date, and the title of the book, I expected to see some presentation in support or against worm holes based on the latest physics and mathematics. What I found instead can be put into about three categories. The first part of the book is nothing but a brief history of Cosmology. The writing is entertaining but there is nothing new in the presentation and there is no indication before hand that this is a work of history. The second part of the book is an attempt to cover string and M theory. It is particularly light weight, and although he makes the statement that String Theory is the leading theory of "everything", he fails to present it in any detail. Finally, the remainder of the book deteriorates into philosophical and Christian religious ponderings that have nothing to do with the subject of the book. Will, the author wonders, there be concern over whether a clone has a soul? He cites the work of numerous Science fiction authors, all of whom I enjoy but have no importance here. Throughout the book he seems concerned with humanities' need to escape this universe for another as it cools over the next trillions of years, a point worthy of about 1 paragraph. This anxiety alone raises deep concern over his ability to grasp the true scale and scope of what Cosmology really represents. And, as far as "Parallel Worlds" is concerned, there is nothing new or convincing. The author says, "This may sound like science fiction." Indeed. Two stars, only because there are probably still many who are looking for a beginning guide to Cosmology and a mixture of science, religion and philosophy. Not to be considered a work of physics.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview for the Layman, August 13, 2006
This review is from: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos (Paperback)
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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars finally, some mid-range stuff, February 21, 2007
This review is from: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos (Paperback)
For a long time, I have been in a bind when it comes to buying books about science or mathematics. My bind is this: I am well versed enough in these subjects to find beginner books rather tedious and often a lot of review rather than exposing new ideas, but I am by no means enough of an expert to pick up a high-end theory or textbook and follow it very easily. This has made a lot of science and math books rather unattainable--I am either going to be bored with it or find it too hard.

But Kaku has usually been able to offer good solace, and he does not disappoint with this one. In _Parallel Worlds_, Kaku explores the realms of string theory, quantum universes, time travel, a whole host of experimental physics. Kaku sometimes kowtows to simplifying his subjects to a false degree, but his best analogies explain the wonderful simplicity of an idea as well as its complexities. The issue of dark matter, for example, or what really blew me away was the idea of invisible energy, attraction created between two parallel metal plates not by charge but by an imbalance of virtual particles between the outsides and insides of the metal. Kaku is fine with presenting highly theoretical ideas that have no present means for testing and confirmation, and he is very objective with most about them when it comes to their plausibility and potential faults. Since he has helped develop string theory, he of course has a lot of hope for it, but his overall objectivity and scholarship is enough to trust throughout.

Some parts are worth going slowly through, to follow the train of thought that leads to rather anti-intuitive conclusions, but that is the joy of math and science, after all, and this book is well worth that read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic and Understanding, December 10, 2005
This book is easy to understand and you really see the basics of cosmology without having to understand equations and the whole physics works. Its easy to read and it totally boggles your mind. It gives you definitions where you need them and it explains to you everything you need to know in the most simplist way. I recommend this book to any beginner or even just the typical reader who finds space and comsology interesting. I, myself, never read about cosmology ever in my life before. When I read this book, it was simple, logical, and really made you think. The author doesn't tell you what to think or believe, he opens your mind to a bunch of different possibilities so you can see the whole picture. He names all the theories and ideas and let's you draw your own conclusions. This book is just a source of interesting facts and info about cosmology without any scientific gibberish that is unpronouncable. It's truly great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 214 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa62e4648)

This product

Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
$16.00 $9.28
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.