A new book was just released yesterday, March 11th, by American theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku; billed as “a scientific exploration into the world of phasers, force fields, teleportation and time travel.” I am looking forward to reading this book.  The book is titled Physics of the Impossible and is published by Random House. Dr. Kaku Cover Imageis a professor at City University of New York.

I’ve read Hyperspace, published January 1994, and Parallel Worlds, published December 2004, written by Dr. Kaku. These are excellent books for anyone interested in the theory of the cosmos, string theory, the big bang, multiverses and the theory of everything. Dr. Kaku is an interesting writer and does not get overly technical in his writing. I’ve seen him in Nova’s “The Elegant Universe” and the BBC show “Parallel Universes.” He brings the theories and physics down to an understandable level, something akin to Carl Sagan’s show, “Cosmos”, which served to popularize these subjects. This is a great achievement (I believe) since one doesn’t run into these topics on a day to day basis.

The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft now doing flybys among the moons of Saturn created much concern for Dr. Kaku. The concern stems from the fact that the spacecraft is powered by highly radioactive plutonium and used in the ship’s radioisotope thermoelectric generator. His concern was ‘worst case scenario’ stuff but nonetheless real. He was afraid the plutonium might somehow, through accident perhaps, get dispersed into the Earth’s environment and possibly contaminate people creating many, many casualties. He criticized NASA’s risk assessment of the fuel as “scientifically dishonest.” There has been no issues with Cassini-Huygens, but I think it is important for someone to say something, just to make people aware. He did that.

Some of the topics covered in the book are: magnetic fields, superconductors, nanotechnologies enabling levitation of elevators in space, MRI’s allowing one to read another person’s mind, anti-universes, faster than light travel, parallel universes, perpetual motion, among others.

In his book, he quotes Arthur C. Clarke’s “Three Laws” as follows:

I. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

II. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

III. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

An excerpt of the book can be found here:

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385520690&view=excerpt

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