Michio Kaku Explains What Physics Can Do For You

Michio Kaku: Most of science fiction is in fact well within the laws of physics, but possible within maybe 100 years.  And then we have type two impossibilities, impossibilities that may take 1,000 years or more.  That includes time travel, warp drive, higher dimensions, portals through space and time, star gates, worm holes.  That’s type two.  And then we have type three, and those are things which simply violate all the known laws of physics, and they’re very few of them.

So in my life I’ve had two great passions.  First is to help complete Einstein’s dream of a theory of everything.  An equation one inch long that would allow us to, “Read the mind of God.”  

But the second passion of my life is to see the future. 

You know, if you were to meet your grandparents at the year 1900, they were dirt farmers back then.  They didn’t live much beyond the age of 40, on average.  Long distance communication in the year 1900 was yelling at your neighbor.  And yet, if they could see you now, with iPads and iPods and satellites and GPS and laser beams, how would they view you?  They would view you as a wizard or sorcerer.

However, if we can now meet our grandkids of the year 2100, how would we view them?  We would view them as gods, like in Greek mythology.  Zeus could control objects around him by pure thought.  Materialize objects just by thinking.  And there’re perks to being a Greek god, Venus had a perfect body, a timeless body.  And we are beginning now to unravel the genetics at the molecular level, of the aging process.  And then Apollo, he had a chariot that he could ride across the heavens.  We will finally have that flying horse, I mean, that, we will have that flying car that we’ve always wanted to have in our garage.  We will be able to create life forms that don’t exist today.

And so in other words, if you want to see the future, you have to understand physics, and you have to realize that by the year 2100, we will have the power of the gods.  

To paraphrase Arthur C. Clark, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from divinity.”

What shape will the future take? Dr. Kaku explains which technological advances will remain confined to the pages of science fiction and which are likely to make the leap to your living room.

Participatory democracy is presumed to be the gold standard. Here’s why it isn’t.

Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.

Photo by Nicholas Roberts /Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Polarization and extreme partisanships have been on the rise in the United States.
  • Political psychologist Diana Mutz argues that we need more deliberation, not political activism, to keep our democracy robust.
  • Despite increased polarization, Americans still have more in common than we appear to.
Keep reading Show less

Astronomers spot only the 2nd interstellar object ever seen

An amateur astronomer discovers an interstellar comet on its way to our Sun.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • The comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) was spotted by an amateur astronomer.
  • The object is moving so fast, it likely originated outside our solar system.
  • The comet should be observable for another year.
Keep reading Show less

Why the illusory truth effect works

Repeating lies makes people believe they are true, show studies.

Mind & Brain
  • Two recent studies looked at the illusory truth effect.
  • The effect describes our propensity to start believing untrue statements if they are repeated.
  • The phenomenon is a universal bias linked to cognitive fluency but can be counterbalanced.
Keep reading Show less