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Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration | [Michio Kaku]

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned 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.
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Publisher's Summary

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction (such as phasers, force fields, teleportation, and time travel) 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. In a compelling and thought-provoking narrative, he explains:

  • How the science of optics and electromagnetism may one day enable us to bend light around an object, like a stream flowing around a boulder, making the object invisible to observers downstream
  • How ramjet rockets, laser sails, antimatter engines, and nanorockets may one day take us to the nearby stars
  • How telepathy and psychokinesis, once considered pseudoscience, may one day be possible using advances in MRI, computers, superconductivity, and nanotechnology
  • Why a time machine is apparently consistent with the known laws of quantum physics, although it would take an unbelievably advanced civilization to actually build one

    Kaku uses his discussion of each technology as a jumping-off point to explain the science behind it. An extraordinary scientific adventure, Physics of the Impossible takes listeners on an unforgettable, mesmerizing journey into the world of science that both enlightens and entertains.

    ©2008 Michio Kaku; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

  • What the Critics Say

    "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." (Publishers Weekly)

    What Members Say

    Average Customer Rating

    4.2 (760 )
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    4.2 (364 )
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    Performance
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    •  
      Thomas Plano, TX, United States 10-11-12
      Thomas Plano, TX, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2012

      Everything is subjective.

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      "Kaku the Optimist!"

      I've always loved Michio Kaku's writings. He is such an optimist when it comes to humanity's future, but he isn't afraid to also spell out what is physically impossible. That is what this book does. He divides up levels of impossibility, based on an understanding of what future technologies could - and probably will - bring. In this he discussed abstract functions like time traveling and warping spacetime.

      All in all, if you are a curious scientist, an interested science enthusiast, or even just someone questioning our future, give this audiobook a listen. I certainly would recommend it!

      1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Doug Cox 07-20-12
      Doug Cox 07-20-12
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      "Witty and Amazingly Clear"
      If you could sum up Physics of the Impossible in three words, what would they be?

      Thought-Provoking, Non-Pretentious. Razor-Sharp.


      What did you like best about this story?

      The author has the rare ability to structure both the subject matter and his observations with unflagging clarity and wit, yet without a hint of dumbing down. Even when the discussion simply must swing out into the highly technical/theoretical, he makes the passage engaging and wonderfully thought-provoking. It's like grabbing a long cup of coffee with the best professor you've ever had.


      Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

      Yes, but that would be impossible given the enormity of the book's scope. Kaku's observations inspire the listener to delve deeper into their own thoughts before resuming the narrative journey.


      Any additional comments?

      The narrator is absolutely first-rate, with excellent pacing, pitch and connection. What a great paring, Kaku and Chin.

      1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-22-10
      Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-22-10 Member Since 2009

      My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.

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      "Very nice!"

      Finally something fun about physics. What a treat to hear someone with a positive outlook about science fiction inventions and the future of everything science.

      1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Matthew Harper Woods, MI, United States 02-12-15
      Matthew Harper Woods, MI, United States 02-12-15 Member Since 2012
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      "Fun listen on physics"

      enjoyed it. was not over my head and I think really written for avg person. I do find some of it a bit flighty but suppose that is good too since it gives a flavor of the msin,players in physics.

      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    •  
      George Houston, Texas, United States 02-02-15
      George Houston, Texas, United States 02-02-15 Member Since 2015
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      "AWESOME!!"

      Feodor Chin is an fantastic narrator. You forget you're being read to. Chin's voice slides smoothly and effortlessly through your ears.
      As for the author, Micheo Kaku is a brilliant astrophysicist that expands ones mind to the possibilities and inevitabilities of man, the planet and the universe.
      This is an awesome read and worth every penny!!

      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Kyle Markwardt 12-03-14 Member Since 2014
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      "A tour de force of conceptual thinking"
      What did you love best about Physics of the Impossible?

      This book had me riveted, it pushed the edges of my imagination much farther than they've been exercised in quite some time. In a way that is fun and awe inspiring, Kaku takes very advanced physics and makes it available to everyone... for a while. The later chapters get a little head-spinny.


      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 09-05-14
      Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 09-05-14 Member Since 2013

      Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.

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      "Hope for the Impossible"

      This book isn't for everyone, but is well worth the effort for those who find the challenges of Theoretical Physics interesting. The book provides a good summary of the topic, with an avenue for the hope of future inquiry. This is my second book by this author and I find his presentations clearly explained.

      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Kinni Peters Carrollton, GA 04-20-14
      Kinni Peters Carrollton, GA 04-20-14 Member Since 2015

      Kinni

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      "Not as technical as his other books"
      Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

      Sure it was. I enjoyed the book, and got a few ideas about subjects I'd like to probe into at a deeper level.


      How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

      I would have appreciated some more technical information, as in Kaku's other books.


      What does Feodor Chin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

      A sense of irony and humour.


      Was Physics of the Impossible worth the listening time?

      Yes it was.


      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    •  
      John F Chandler, AZ 07-31-13
      John F Chandler, AZ 07-31-13
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      "I'm no genius but..."
      Is there anything you would change about this book?

      I'm not sure if you could change anything about this book. It's pretty much one person's opinion on what the future will look like. Yes I looked up a few referenced items but not being much of a Star Trek viewer or Star Wars fan I was just listening for more of a physics type reference. It was ok, just a lot of "in the future, this could look like this.."


      What aspect of Feodor Chin’s performance would you have changed?

      He was ok, not sure if changing it would have helped. Maybe have Bill Nye read?


      If this book were a movie would you go see it?

      In the bathroom


      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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      johnathan BEAUMONT, TX, United States 01-24-13
      johnathan BEAUMONT, TX, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2012
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      "Awesome! A must Read"
      Would you consider the audio edition of Physics of the Impossible to be better than the print version?

      If you love the physics docs & stephen hawking style shows on discovery, this is your book. So much more info than the tv shows.. Well written


      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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