- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Edition Unstated edition (February 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385477058
- ISBN-13: 978-0385477055
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 294 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension Paperback – February 1, 1995
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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 the Publisher
The first book-length exploration of the most exciting development in modern physics, the theory of 10-dimensional space. The theory of hyperspace, which Michio Kaku pioneered, may be the leading candidate for the Theory of Everything that Einstein spent the remaining years of his life searching for.
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The book takes us on a journey through the discovery-history of higher dimensions and the quest to unify the laws of physics. It introduces us to Riemannian geometry and explains how forces can be viewed as consequences of geometry in higher dimensions (Hyperspace) a concept that was later used in the General Theory of Relativity, Kaluza-Klein theory as well superstring theory. The laws of physics become more unified, simpler and more beautiful if you add a few dimensions. He convincingly makes the case that you can discover the secrets of the Universe by peering into Hyperspace. The book also discusses topics such as the history of modern physics, relativity, quantum physics, the standard model, GUTs, super gravity, black holes, the big bang, parallel universes, etc. Towards the end of the book he is discussing the fate of the Universe and the fate of human civilization, and the threats we face from the potential of nuclear war, global warming, and possible collisions with asteroids.
The book does not go into depth on any of the multiple topics discussed. It is not that kind of a book. However, on some minor topics I found it to be misleading, particularly on the topics of parallel universes and “Schrödinger’s cat”. For example, he states on page 261 “To Schrödinger, the idea of thinking about cats that are neither dead nor alive was the height of absurdity, yet nevertheless the experimental confirmation of quantum mechanics forces us to this conclusion.” The last part is simply incorrect. This is an interpretation issue, not an experimental issue, and it is sorted out in different ways by more modern interpretations of quantum physics such as the ensemble interpretation and the relational interpretation of quantum physics, or via "decoherence". As for me, when I as a young student taking classes in Quantum Physics at the end of the 1980’s I adopted what was essentially a pre-cursor to the relational interpretation because of what I noticed when I tried to perform Galileo transforms on quantum wave functions. There’s no real contradiction and there are no multiple worlds (universes) needed to explain this. I’ve seen other popularizers confuse people the same way, and I think it just turns people off.
Anyway, other than the above minor complaint, I think this was a very enjoyable and interesting book that I am very glad that I’ve read.
If you are one such person, this book is for you. Make no mistake - you will not be able to understand the mystery behind ten dimensions and string theory any better than what you do today even after reading the book, but it will certainly help you to understand what those mysteries are.
This book lays the foundation of what is generally called the String theory that explains everything in the universe with one single proposition. Whether the explanation or the theory is correct or not is not the subject matter of this book. It simply assumes it is correct. However, that is not really important. What is important is that how the book explains why it is necessary to have a single theory to advance our knowledge of this universe.
And this it does without using any mathematical equation at all, except E = mc^2 (which it also does not attempt to prove). There is no other mathematical proof of any kind in this book, paving the way for general readers to a theory that is well known to be difficult even among scientists.
In retrospect after reading this book for few times, I think that is in a way the best strength and the worst weakness of this book. It gives you the story but not the details of a scientific theory. You can not learn further based on the things that you learn here - you need to start from the beginning if you decide to learn the String theory in a scientific way.
Or in other words, the book aptly reveals to you where the call comes from behind that mystery shroud, but it does not tell you why.
Arrived quickly, and it was just as I expected. It's a little more beat up that I'd wanted, but I think that may just be due to more love for the book. At least that is what I am thinking as I read it.
I recommend this book to anyone curious about the building blocks of reality and the time-space continuum.
An other fact which can interest the lector is that in a black-hole the information can be stopped because it doesn't go beyond the events horizon, fact named "cosmic censure". Therefore this book contains many particularities and everyone can read those whom he prefers.