Physics of the Impossible

A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

Kaku, Michio

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Physics of the Impossible
One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. Here, physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals--and the limits--of the laws of physics as we know them today. He ranks the impossible technologies by categories--Class I, II, and III--depending on when they might be achieved, within the next century, millennia, or perhaps never. He uses his discussion of each technology as a jumping-off point to explain the science behind it.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0385520697
Branch Call Number: 530 K13p 2008
Characteristics: xxi, 329 p. ;,25 cm


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Jan 14, 2013

A great book about what most people would consider impossible in the present era. The author uses simple language to explain complicated physics concepts about "impossible" technologies which could very much be possible in the future. Interesting topics include: time travel, telepathy, telekenesis and forces fields.

Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Informative for people who like sci-fi (Star Trek and Star Wars get a lot of mentions) and wonder if any of it is remotely possible in the real world. The explanations of the concepts of Physics and ongoing research are generally easy to read and understand... well, maybe with the exception of the string theory and particle physics sections.

Sep 23, 2012
  • isaacasimov rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A fascinating look at the boundaries between science fiction and science fact, weaving the correlation with our planets history, popular literature and Hollywood productions that have engaged imaginations from the dawn of time.

Sep 22, 2012

I highly suspect that there are many discoveries made nowadays that the public has know way of knowing, for since the end of the cold war governments are hell bent on secrecy. Many discoveries are left to moulder and collect dust on shelves in a dank government basement somewhere. The governments of today fear so much that they will become destabilized by new technologies that they will do anything to buy the discoverer out, or to not fund the research in the first place, which is what governments do if they want new discoveries to make it.

I, as a young person would be very worried about the way things are going in our "modern" world and the sleazy politicians who hold the keys to the future. Sometimes new technologies also put people out of work, and no politician wants to lay off large segments of the population. And usually the newer technology involves mass layoffs of the populace, for it's very idea is to become another "labour saving" device.

Jan 26, 2010
  • mwhitt rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fabulous details, easy to understand.
Other authors- David Bodanis - The Secret Family, E = MC 2

Genesis: A Inorganic Theory of the Origin of LIfe

Sep 11, 2009
  • craicmonkey rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I won't even try to pretend that I was able to fully understand a few of the ideas explored in this book. Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading it and although I did glass over a couple of times, it did give me a good idea of how far we still have to go before a lot of science fiction becomes science fact. That, and I can now feel a little more secure when I laugh at some new pseudoscience or quackery that comes along with the term 'quantum' in it's name. I am reminded of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


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Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

There will always be things that are beyond our grasp, that are impossible to explore (such as the precise position of an electron, or the world existing beyond the reach of the speed of light). But the fundamental laws, I believe, are knowable and finite.


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