Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension

Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension

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By (author) Michio Kaku

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  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 188mm x 24mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 5 October 1995
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192861891
  • ISBN 13: 9780192861894
  • Illustrations note: halftones, line figures
  • Sales rank: 66,803

Product description

Already thoroughly familiar to the seasoned science fiction fan, Hyperspace is that realm which enables a spaceship captain to take his ship on a physics-defying shortcut (or "wormhole") to the outer shores of the Galaxy in less time than it takes a 747 to fly from New York to Tokyo. But in the past few years, physicists on the cutting edge of science have found that a 10-dimensional Hyperspace may actually exist, albeit at a scale almost too small to comprehend, smaller even than a quark; and that in spite of its tiny size, it may be the basis on which all the forces of nature will be united. This is the first book for a general audience on one of the latest, most exciting developments in modern science. In the past several years, theoretical physicists-the author among them-have discovered that the universe exists not merely in the four spacetime dimensions (3 of space + one of time) with which Einstein made us familiar, but rather as a ten-dimensional Hyperspace. Once the domain of the science fiction writer or the occultist, Hyperspace has recently been shown to be the only kind of space in which the laws of modern physics can be satisfactorily explained. Amazingly enough, many of the phenomena whose explanations have stymied 20th century physicists and cosmologists can now be perfectly clarified by using the ten dimensions of Hyperspace. Most importantly, Einstein's unfulfilled dream, the work on which he spent the last several decades of his life in vain-the unification of all the forces of nature-now sits waiting on the ten-dimensional doorstep of modern theoretical physicists. Michio Kaku-theoretical high-energy physicist, author, radio talkshow host, and nuclear disarmament activist-is one of the pioneers in the field of String Theory, which states that the basic constituents of our universe are not quarks or protons or electrons, but much smaller entities called "strings" or "superstrings", which vibrate-like violin strings-in 10 dimensional Hyperspace, and whose vibrations in different resonances are manifested in the elementary particles. In his book, Kaku takes the reader on a ride through Hyperspace to the edge of physics. On the way he gives crystal clear explanations of such formidable mathematical concepts as non-Euclidean Geometry, Kaluza-Klein Theory, and Supergravity, the everyday tools of the string theorist. Utilizing fascinating and often hilarious anecdotes from history, from art, and from science fiction, Kaku shows us that writers and artists-in addition to scientists-have been fascinated by multidimensional space for over a century. In fact, many of the weird effects created by such famous artists as Dali and Picasso can be explained and more appreciated with an eye on the fourth spatial dimension. Finally, Kaku shows us why the ability to master Hyperspace may be our only salvation from destruction at the end of space-time. This lively yet authoritative book is spiced with many whimsical illustrations in a style reminiscent of the late science writer George Gamow.

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Author information

Michio Kaku is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of the City University of New York. He is the author of other popular and graduate level books and for the past 10 years has hosted a weekly public-radio talk show on science and current events. He is an experienced and outstanding public speaker.

Review quote

beautifully written, making difficult scientific ideas seem accessible, almost easy. Danah Zohar, Independent

Editorial reviews

Kaku (Physics/CCNY) is the author (with Jennifer Trainer) of Beyond Einstein (1987) and of several popular volumes on advanced physics. He is also the host of a weekly radio program on modern science. Here, he offers a popular explanation of how the mathematics of higher dimensions underlies modern physical theories, notably the superstring hypothesis of how the universe is put together. The great problem confronting physics has been the building of a bridge between relativity and quantum theory: a single theory reconciling the two extremes of the very large and the very small. Relativity is proven beyond doubt on the scale of planets and galaxies; quantum theory applies to the microcosmic world of subatomic particles. Ever since Einstein, physicists have been trying, and failing, to combine the two into a GUT (Grand Unified Theory). Although it remains controversial among physicists and cosmologists, Kaku proffers superstring theory as the best approximation yet - but it requires acceptance of a counter-intuitive system in which our sensory world, hosting three dimensions of space and one of time, is only a small part of a universe containing ten dimensions (six of them undetectable by our limited senses). Higher dimensions, aka hyperspace, seem to some physicists the most consistent description of the universe we actually inhabit, and to others just one more futile attempt to unify relativity and quantum theory. Kaku admits the futility of visualizing a ten-dimensional universe with our three-dimensional mindset; in fact, he admits that the mathematics of superstring theory are so difficult that many of the key equations remain unsolved. But he effectively marshals examples from everyday experience and the labors of working scientists to illuminate current theories of how the universe really works (to the extent that anyone can understand it without working the equations), offering intelligent speculations on how time travel and faster-than-light travel might be possible. Kaku's explanations of the principles of superstring theory are lucid, lively, and full of entertaining glimpses of the researchers involved. A worthy successor to the popular physics texts of George Gamow, as thought-provoking as Stephen Hawking. (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

Notes ; References ; Index ; PART I: ENTERING THE FIFTH DIMENSION ; 1. Worlds beyond space and time ; 2. Mathematicians and mystics ; 3. The man who "saw" the fourth dimension ; 4. The secret of light: vibrations in the fifth dimension ; PART II: UNIFICATION AND THE TENTH DIMENSION ; 5. Quantum heresy ; 6. Einstein's ravings ; 7. Superstrings ; 8. Signals from the tenth dimension ; 9. Before creation ; PART III: WORMHOLES: GATEWAYS TO ANOTHER UNIVERSE ; 10. Black holes and parallel universes ; 11. To build a time machine ; 12. Colliding universes ; PART IV: MASTERS OF HYPERSPACE ; 13. Beyond the future ; 14. Fate of the universe ; 15. Conclusion