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Why You Need a Time Machine: Dr. Kaku Explains String Theory

In this excerpt from his lecture for The Floating University, Dr. Kaku explains that time machines do not violate Einstein's laws of physics, and that future humans would be wise to build one and slip through a wormhole before the cooling universe extinguishes all known life. 

Editor's Note: Over the next 12 days, Big Think will be running excerpts from all the lessons that make up our first online course, Great Big Ideas. During this period, we are offering discounted subscriptions to Big Think readers. You can now subscribe and gift this course for $99. Please sign up and then subscribe using the coupon code THINK to get the discount.


What's the Big Idea?

Sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke once said, "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them to the impossible." Dr. Michio Kaku would like to clarify what kind of impossibility we're talking about.

There's a difference, he says, between ideas that are beyond our technical capabilities today but will be available within the next century, ideas that will be doable 1000 years from now, and ideas that violate the known laws of physics. Surprisingly, very little falls into the third category. 

In this excerpt from his lecture for The Floating University, Dr. Kaku explains that time machines do not violate Einstein's laws of physics, and that – difficult though it might be – future humans would be wise to build one and slip through a wormhole to one of the alternate dimensions proposed by string theory before the cooling universe extinguishes all known life. 



Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

Hulu's original movie "Palm Springs" is the comedy we needed this summer

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.

Gear
  • Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
  • As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
  • The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
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Map of the World's Countries Rearranged by Population

China moves to Russia and India takes over Canada. The Swiss get Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi India. And the U.S.? It stays where it is. 

Strange Maps

What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?

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Dinosaurs suffered from cancer, study confirms

A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.

A Centrosaurus reconstruction

Surprising Science
  • The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
  • After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
  • The study shows how modern techniques can help scientists learn about the ancient origins of diseases.
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David Epstein: Thinking tools for 'wicked' problems

Join the lauded author of Range in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova!

Big Think LIVE

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell was not able to make the live stream due to scheduling issues. Fortunately, David Epstein was able to jump in at a moment's notice. We hope you enjoy this great yet unexpected episode of Big Think Live. Our thanks to David and Maria for helping us deliver a show, it is much appreciated.


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