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Physics of the Impossible

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:50 pm
by Marie
Below is a brief synopsis of a book I found on a topic that is very interesting and would like to read it. Has anyone reviewed or glanced through a copy? I am a member of the Scientific American Book Club and it is a featured selection. It says it is for all readers and since I had not studied physics but retain a curious interest, I am putting out feelers to the academians on the site for assistance.


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, renowned City University of New York physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent technologies and devices deemed equally impossible today might become commonplace in the future.

From teleportation to the routine use of force-fields, 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 explains how:
• The science of optics, electromagnetism, and light may be able to be used to simulate invisibility.
• Enhancing the sensitivity of MRI devices may eventually enable scientists to read minds.
• Magnetic fields, superconductors and nanotechnologies may eventually enable us to levitate an elavator in outer space and more.

A fascinating blend of science and speculation, Physics of the Impossible reveals the technologies that might be achievable decades or centuries in the future.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:13 pm
by Windwalker
Dear Marie -- I didn't read this particular book by Kaku, but did read Hyperspace and Visions. I think he is good at making concepts understandable to non-physicists and non-scientists. So I'd say go for it!

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:53 pm
by caliban
Marie, I haven't read any of Kaku, but he has a respectable reputation. He's probably indulging in a little hyperbole for the sake of sales, but that's not very wrong.

I agree with Athena-- go for it!

The Physics of the Impossible

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:47 pm
by Marie
Thank you both for your thoughts and encouragement.

While checking my e-mails not ten minutes ago, I noticed a confirmation and immediate shipping notice for this very book. Sheesh, I must have placed the order subconsciously in the dead of night because I never remember pressing the yes icon! If it reads as well as Athena's "To Seek Out New Life" than I know I will garner another set of ideas that will give me pleasure as well as knowledge. I just started reading Lawrence Krauss' "The Physics of Star Trek" and was hoping that the above volume would mesh with the ideas put forth in the book.

The best part of this club is their selection designations. I know it will be of interest on an understanding level when it states "for all readers". That way I know I do not need higher physics or mathematics training than I already have.

Well, wish me luck! I may come back for some specifics if I get stuck. :shock: