Synopses & Reviews
Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100.
In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics.
In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world's information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism.
Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically.
In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button.
But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg. Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper?
All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution.
"Kaku (Physics of the Impossible), a professor of physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, gathers ideas from more than 300 experts, scientists, and researchers at the cutting edge of their fields, to offer a glimpse of what the next 100 years may bring. The predictions all conform to certain ground rules (e.g., 'Prototypes of all technologies mentioned... already exist'), and some seem obvious (computer chips will continue to get faster and smaller). Others seem less far-fetched than they might have a decade ago: for instance, space tourism will be popular, especially once a permanent base is established on the moon. Other predictions may come true downloading the Internet right into a pair of contact lenses but whether they're desirable is another matter. Some of the predictions are familiar but still startling: robots will develop emotions by mid-century, and we will start merging mind and body with them. Despite the familiarity of many of the predictions to readers of popular science and science fiction, Kaku's book should capture the imagination of everyday readers. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Following in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci and Jules Verne, Kaku, author of a handful of books about science, looks into the not-so-distant future and envisions what the world will look like. It should be an exciting place, with driverless cars, Internet glasses, universal translators, robot surgeons, the resurrection of extinct life forms, designer children, space tourism, a manned mission to Mars, none of which turn out to be as science-fictiony as they sound. In fact, the most exciting thing about the book is the fact that most of the developments Kaku discusses can be directly extrapolated from existing technologies. Robot surgeons and driverless cars, for example, already exist in rudimentary forms. Kaku, a physics professor and one of the originators of the string field theory (an offshoot of the more general string theory), draws on current research to show how, in a very real sense, our future has already been written. The book's lively, user-friendly style should appeal equally to fans of science fiction and popular science." Booklist
"Mesmerizing...the reader exits dizzy, elated, and looking at the world in a literally revolutionary way." Washington Post Book World
"With his lucid and wry style, his knack for bringing the most ethereal ideas down to earth, and his willingness to indulge in a little scientifically informed futurology now and then...Michio Kaku has written one of the best popular accounts of higher physics." Wall Street Journal
"What a wonderful adventure it is, trying to think the unthinkable." New York Times Book Review
"An erudite, compelling, insider's look into the most mind-bending potential of science research." Chicago Tribune
"Kaku covers a tremendous amount of material...in a clear and lively way." Los Angeles Times Book Review
"An invigorating experience." Christian Science Monitor
"Mesmerizing information breathtakingly presented...thoroughly engaging...magnificent!" Philadelphia Inquirer
and#8220;An informative, math-free, and completely entertaining look at the concept of symmetry in physicsand#8230;Throughout his fascinating discussion, Goldbergand#8217;s writing remains accessible and full of humorand#8230;Seasoning his exposand#233; with pop culture references that range from Doctor Who
to Lewis Carroll to Angry Birds, Goldberg succeeds in making complex topics clear with a winning style.and#8221; -and#160;Publisher's Weekly
"Goldberg delivers relentlessly cheerful but comprehensible explanations of a dozen profound features of the universe." -and#160;Kirkus
"Most physics books can't really be described as 'rollicking,' but most physics books aren't written by Dave Goldberg. This is fun, irreverent, and enjoyable, but also very truthful and illuminating. Buy it for your friend who was always scared of physics, especially if that friend is yourself." - Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at Caltech, author ofand#160;The Particle at the End of the Universe
"This is a fun and fascinating examination of core physics concepts-and which even includes a look at one of physics' unsung heroines, a giant upon whose shoulders many physicists have stood: Emmy Noether!" - Danica McKellar, actress and author ofand#160;Math Doesn't Suck
"Unputdownable! This book is tremendous fun for any reader curious about our bizarre and beautiful universe. If only the profound concepts and laws of physics were presented in schools in the clear and fun way Dave Goldberg has in this book, we would attract many more people to science early." - Priyamvada Natarajan, Departments of Astronomy and Physics, Chair, Women Faculty Forum, Yale University
"The scope of this book is almost as vast as the physical universe it does a most impressive job of describing. Perhaps more importantly, Goldberg limns the under-appreciated work of Emmy Noether. Her principle that every symmetry gives rise to a conserved quantity unifies much of physics and Goldberg makes clear why and how." - John Allen Paulos, Professor of Mathematics, Temple University, author ofand#160;Innumeracy
"Dave Goldberg's masterful explanations of how symmetry shapes the universe are a delight to read. From kaon koans to Antworld, to all the fuss about the Higgs boson, you will be enthralled and enlightened." - J. Richard Gott, Professor of Astrophysics, Princeton University
"Reading this book is like taking a class with the most awesome science professor ever. Goldberg answers the physics questions you secretly want to ask, like whether you'll ever have a TARDIS and what would happen if Earth were sucked into a black hole. A must read for anybody who wants to understand the nature of the universe - with jokes." - Annalee Newitz, editor and time distortion field operator: i09.com
"Dave Goldberg offers a funhouse of fascinating curiosities, mind-bending paradoxes, and clever humor...Magnificently elucidate the importance of symmetry in physics, astronomy, and math. A powerful reflection on the power of reflection!" - Paul Halpern, author ofand#160;Edge of the Universe
The New York Times
-bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible
gives us a stunning and provocative vision of the future.
Based on interviews with over three hundred of the world's top scientists, who are already inventing the future in their labs, Kaku — in a lucid and engaging fashion — presents the revolutionary developments in medicine, computers, quantum physics, and space travel that will forever change our way of life and alter the course of civilization itself.
His astonishing revelations include:
- The Internet will be in your contact lens. It will recognize people's faces, display their biographies, and even translate their words into subtitles.
- You will control computers and appliances via tiny sensors that pick up your brain scans. You will be able to rearrange the shape of objects.
- Sensors in your clothing, bathroom, and appliances will monitor your vitals, and nanobots will scan your DNA and cells for signs of danger, allowing life expectancy to increase dramatically.
- Radically new spaceships, using laser propulsion, may replace the expensive chemical rockets of today.
- You may be able to take an elevator hundreds of miles into space by simply pushing the "up" button.
Like Physics of the Impossible and Visions before it, Physics of the Future is an exhilarating, wondrous ride through the next one hundred years of breathtaking scientific revolution.
A physicist speeds across space, time and everything in between showing that our elegant universeandmdash;from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxiesandmdash;is shaped by hidden symmetries that have driven all our recent discoveries about the universe and all the ones to come.
Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrink-ray gun? If there is antimatter, can there be antipeople? Why are past, present, and future our only options? Are time and space like a butterfly's wings?
No one but Dave Goldberg, the coolest nerd physicist on the planet, could give a hyper drive tour of the universe like this one. Not only does he answer the questions your stoner friends came up with in college, but he also reveals the most profound discoveries of physics with infectious, Carl Saganandndash;like enthusiasm and accessibility.
Goldbergandrsquo;s narrative is populated with giants from the history of physics, and the biggest turns out to be an unsung genius and Nazi holocaust escapee named Emmy Noetherandmdash;the other Einstein. She was unrecognized, even unpaid, throughout most of her career simply because she was a woman. Nevertheless, her theorem relating conservation laws to symmetries is widely regarded to be as important as Einsteinandrsquo;s notion of the speed of light. Einstein himself said she was andldquo;the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began.andrdquo;
Symmetry is the unsung great idea behind all the big physics of the last one hundred yearsandmdash;and what lies ahead. In this book, Goldberg makes mindbending science not just comprehensible but gripping.and#160; Fasten your seat belt.
About the Author
MICHIO KAKU is a professor of physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, cofounder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Physics of the Impossible, also the basis for his Science Channel show and two radio programs, Explorations and Science Fantastic.
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