Synopses & Reviews
Is our universe dying?
Could there be other universes?
In Parallel Worlds, world-renowned physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku, an author who has a knack for bringing the most ethereal ideas down to earth” (Wall Street Journal, takes readers on a fascinating tour of cosmology, M-theory, and its implications for the fate of the universe.
In his first book of physics since Hyperspace, Michio Kaku begins by describing the extraordinary advances that have transformed cosmology over the last century, and particularly over the last decade, forcing scientists around the world to rethink our understanding of the birth of the universe, and its ultimate fate. In Dr. Kaku’s eyes, we are living in a golden age of physics, as new discoveries from the WMAP and COBE satellites and the Hubble space telescope have given us unprecedented pictures of our universe in its infancy.
As astronomers wade through the avalanche of data from the WMAP satellite, a new cosmological picture is emerging. So far, the leading theory about the birth of the universe is the “inflationary universe theory,” a major refinement on the big bang theory. In this theory, our universe may be but one in a multiverse, floating like a bubble in an infinite sea of bubble universes, with new universes being created all the time. A parallel universe may well hover a mere millimeter from our own.
The very idea of parallel universes and the string theory that can explain their existence was once viewed with suspicion by scientists, seen as the province of mystics, charlatans, and cranks. But today, physicists overwhelmingly support string-theory, and its latest iteration, M-theory, as it is this one theory that, if proven correct, would reconcile the four forces of the universe simply and elegantly, and answer the question “What happened before the big bang?”
Already, Kaku explains, the world’s foremost physicists and astronomers are searching for ways to test the theory of the multiverse using highly sophisticated wave detectors, gravity lenses, satellites, and telescopes. The implications of M-theory are fascinating and endless. If parallel worlds do exist, Kaku speculates, in time, perhaps a trillion years or more from now, as appears likely, when our universe grows cold and dark in what scientists describe as a big freeze, advanced civilizations may well find a way to escape our universe in a kind of “inter-dimensional lifeboat.”
An unforgettable journey into black holes and time machines, alternate universes, and multidimensional space, Parallel Worlds gives us a compelling portrait of the revolution sweeping the world of cosmology.
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.
About the Author
Dr. Michio Kaku is professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and a co-founder of string field theory. He is the author of several widely acclaimed books, including Visions, Beyond Einstein, and Hyperspace, which was named one of the best science books of the year by the New York Times and the Washington Post. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio science program and has appeared on such national television shows as Nightline, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and Larry King Live.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: THE UNIVERSE
Chapter One: Baby Pictures of the Universe
Chapter Two: The Paradoxical Universe
Chapter Three: The Big Bang
Chapter Four: Inflation and Parallel Universes
PART TWO: THE MULTIVERSE
Chapter Five: Dimensional Portals and Time Travel
Chapter Six: Parallel Quantum Universes
Chapter Seven: M-Theory: The Mother of All Strings
Chapter Eight: A Designer Universe?
Chapter Nine: Searching for Echoes from the Eleventh Dimension
PART THREE: ESCAPE INTO HYPERSPACE
Chapter Ten: The End of Everything
Chapter Eleven: Escaping the Universe
Chapter Twelve: Beyond the Multiverse