- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (April 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307278824
- ISBN-13: 978-0307278821
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 451 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel Reprint Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
In this latest effort to popularize the sciences, City University of New York professor and media star Kaku (Hyperspace) ponders topics that many people regard as impossible, ranging from psychokinesis and telepathy to time travel and teleportation. His Class I impossibilities include force fields, telepathy and antiuniverses, which don't violate the known laws of science and may become realities in the next century. Those in Class II await realization farther in the future and include faster-than-light travel and discovery of parallel universes. Kaku discusses only perpetual motion machines and precognition in Class III, things that aren't possible according to our current understanding of science. He explains how what many consider to be flights of fancy are being made tangible by recent scientific discoveries ranging from rudimentary advances in teleportation to the creation of small quantities of antimatter and transmissions faster than the speed of light. Science and science fiction buffs can easily follow Kaku's explanations as he shows that in the wonderful worlds of science, impossible things are happening every day. (Mar. 11)
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 Bookmarks Magazine
Kaku (Parallel Worlds, Beyond Einstein, Hyperspace) introduces complex theories of physics to general readers. As The Economist notes, Kaku "makes a good stab at explaining difficult physics. But his grasp of his subject is perhaps trumped by his knowledge of science fiction." While Kaku writes in language designed to captivate nonscience readers, it's his references to pop culture—Star Trek to Terminator 3—that clarify his fringe physics. (Those wishing to explore the topic further can refer to Kaku's detailed footnotes.) To critics' delight, Kaku also investigates the moral issues of futuristic technology that SF does so well and asks provoking questions about the fate of humankind. The only complaints? Kaku omits a few obvious SF parallels, and, more seriously, readers who don't enjoy that genre may find less of interest here.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This did more for me than my first three college courses on physics, just saying that right now.
Me? I'd pick Michio Kaku. This guy is phenomenal! I'd love to sit down across the table from him, ply him whatever libations he prefers and then let him verbally go to town while I sit there and listen to him and occasionally interject asking questions.
For this man to be able to not only explain previous futuristic predictions made by his predecessors with ease and an astutely keen perception of where they were correct and incorrect, but to also be able to go into such great detail about what's to come, based upon where we are now and where we've come from, it's actually something marvel over as you roll around what he's written in your brain and let it sink in.
If you have ANY interest in physics or even just in the progress of mankind -- past, present and future -- this book will not disappoint.
Dr. Michio Kaku takes the reader on a journey from what is possible with the physics of today to what may be accomplished in the future, like time travel, invisibility, teleportation, faster than light travel, etc. He presents a detailed account of string theory, robotics, anti-gravity and phasers that make it easy for those who do not have a background in physics to understand.
This is exactly the kind of book that got me back into reading several years ago, a pop science book on the future of technology. It's an easy read with no mind numbing formulas or diagram, written for the total layman. I have read literally dozens of popular science books in the last decade and this is one of the better ones. The big problem with these kinds of books is that physics hasn't had a major new breakthrough since well before I was born and these books can get rather repetitive Sure there have been lots of minor advancements but the main problem of physics, the elusive Grand Unifying Theory remains unsolved.
One portion of the book that troubled me was a discussion on string theory as the most likely solution to the unification of relativity and the special model. Read `The Trouble with Physics' by Lee Smolin to see how shaky the foundation of string theory really is. Michio writes, `one major criticism of string theory is that it is untestable'. Actually the much bigger problem is that it's unfalsifiable which puts it dangerously close to pseudoscience. Another criticism he mentions is that by putting string theory at such a high priority in physics other avenues of thinking are squeezed out. To this Michio just smiles accepting this as a natural occurrence in research but I would argue that this kind of attitude may be one of the reasons physics has been practically paralyzed for decades.
The author writes that, "The coming years of physics could be the most exciting of all, as we explore the universe with a new generation of particle accelerators, space based gravity detectors and new technologies" My suspicion is that the coming years of physics will generally be exciting only particle physicists and astronomers not the general public. Books like `The Physics of Impossible' are enjoyable to read but if you peruse one every couple of years you can probably keep up with advancements in the latest massive science experiments and particle discoveries.
Most recent customer reviews
I am also a Physicist who wants to keep abreast of the new thinking in the field.
this book really breaks it down simple so its easy for you to understand and grasp the concept