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Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos Paperback – February 14, 2006
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Dr Kaku has self-promoting tendencies, as his critics rightly claim. But his desire to gain an audience enriches his explanatory skills. He has mastered the ability to present scientific theory in a manner unscientific audiences can understand, yet without talking down to us. This is a skill other Physics authors--Lisa Randall "Warped Passages", Heinerich Pas "The Perfect Wave"--never quite master. (Both books well worth reading.) If you're a Physics hobbyist like myself, or simply enjoy thinking in new ways, "Parallel Worlds" is a great launch pad into current thinking about reality. ~
Star Readers: from out of the east
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!