Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
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. --David Pitt
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Praise for MICHIO KAKU
“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
“Accessible, entertaining, and inspiring”
— New Scientist
“Mesmerizing information breathtakingly presented . . . thoroughly engaging . . . magnificent!”
— Philadelphia Inquirer
“An invigorating experience”
— Christian Science Monitor
“Kaku covers a tremendous amount of material . . . in a clear and lively way.”
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
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.
MICHIO KAKU is a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, cofounder of string field theory, and the bestselling author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Hyperspace and Physics of the Impossible—the basis for his Science Channel TV show Sci Fi Science—and two radio programs, Explorations and Science Fantastic, broadcasting to over 140 radio stations.
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (March 15, 2011)