Parallel Worlds: The Science of Alternative Universes and Our Future in the Cosmos

Parallel Worlds: The Science of Alternative Universes and Our Future in the Cosmos

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Michio Kaku

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 26mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 26 January 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141014636
  • ISBN 13: 9780141014630
  • Edition statement: Trade Paperback.
  • Sales rank: 16,231

Product description

From the bestselling author of "Physics of the Impossible", Michio Kaku's "Parallel Worlds" takes us to the frontiers of scientific knowledge to explain the extraordinary nature - and future - of our universe. Imagine a future where we are not alone - where our universe is just one of countless parallel worlds, some strangely familiar, some almost unimaginable. And that, when planet earth finally runs down to a cold, dark wasteland, we will be able to escape into these new worlds and start again. Michio Kaku's thrilling guide to the galaxy shows us how it could happen sooner than we think - and the future for intelligent life is one of endless possibilities. "This book is absolutely impossible to put down ...if and when we do find out what the universe is, and how it was created, it's going to be absolutely mind-blowing". ("Independent on Sunday"). "One of the gurus of modern physics". ("Financial Times"). "An exhilarating read ...nobody who reads this book can be anything less than amazed by the possibilities it presents". ("Scotland on Sunday"). "The journey he takes the reader on is so picturesque and the conclusions so startling that you are gripped". ("Sunday Telegraph"). Michio Kaku is a leading theoretical physicist and one of the founders of string theory, widely regarded as the strongest candidate for the 'theory of everything'. He is also one of the most gifted popularizers of science of his generation. His books published by Penguin include "Parallel Worlds", "The Physics of the Future" and "The Physics of the Impossible". He holds the Henry Semat Professorship in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York, where he has taught for over twenty-five years.

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Author information

Michio Kaku is the co-founder of String Field Theory and is the author of international best-selling books such as Hyperspace, Visions, and Beyond Einstein. Michio Kaku is the Henry Semat Professor in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York.

Customer reviews

By Rui Antunes 07 Apr 2011 4

This book describes the evolution of the Universe in the light of new theories such as Quantum Mechanics, Supergravity and String Theory. This was the first book I read that described the Multiverse model.

It is a very interesting book and easy to read. Michi Kaku is a skilled physics writer which manages to explain complex theories in a simple way without leaving you with the feeling that something is not being told.

Review quote

"In Parallel Worlds, Michio Kaku brings his formidable explanatory talents to bear on one of the strangest and most exciting possibilities to have emerged from modern physics: that our universe may be but one among many, perhaps infinitely many, arrayed in a vast cosmic network. With deft use of analogy and humor, Kaku patiently introduces the reader to variations on this theme of parallel universes, coming from quantum mechanics, cosmology, and most recently, M-theory. Read this book for a wonderful tour, with an expert guide, of a cosmos whose comprehension forces us to stretch to the very limits of imagination." --Brian Greene, Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics, Columbia University, and author of "The Fabric of the Cosmos "and "The Elegant Universe ""Kaku employs an amiable style that does much to make the story accessible even for those of us who have trouble telling the difference between superstring theory and Silly String aerosol. . . . Fascinating and sometimes downrigh

Editorial reviews

Cutting-edge physics for a popular audience. This time out, Kaku (Physics, CUNY; Hyperspace, 1994, etc.) takes us through the broad outlines of what physicists call "Theories of Everything." The hottest new flavor here is M-Theory, a derivative of string theory in which our universe is considered to be one of innumerable parallel universes separated by tiny distances in eleven-dimensional space. While apparently counterintuitive, such theories arise from the solid twin pillars of modern physics: quantum theory and general relativity. Kaku dutifully steers the reader through the key formulations of physics, with brief glimpses of the scientists behind the big ideas: not only Newton, Einstein and Hawking, but the playful George Gamow, who did as much as anyone to make the Big Bang respectable, and the wisecracking Richard Feynman, who cheerfully admitted that nobody really understands quantum theory. We also get a look at the hardware of today's science, from the atom-smashers that generate new particles to the giant telescopes that peer back toward the origins of the universe. Kaku clearly enjoys speculating about the broader implications of his subject, and he cites several SF novels with obvious familiarity. His concluding chapters offer a discussion of some ways an advanced civilization might escape the heat death of the universe by tunneling into a parallel universe where the stars still shine. Unfortunately, though, Kaku sometimes stumbles when he strays beyond physics. Errors creep into his historical summaries (Copernicus wrote his astronomical treatise well before his deathbed), and analogies sometimes fall flat: he states that plucking a musical string harder produces a different note (it just becomes louder). His final chapter looks for meaning in the structure of the cosmos, seeking a compromise between the Copernican principle (we are not special) and the anthropic principle (we can hardly be accidental). Ambitious and thought-provoking. (Kirkus Reviews)

Flap copy

Is our universe dying? Could there be other universes? In "Parallel Worlds," world-renowned physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku"--an" author who "has a knack for bringing the most ethereal ideas down to earth" "(Wall Street Journal)--takes readers on a fascinating tour of cosmology, M-theory, and its implications for the fate of the universe. In his first book of physics since "Hyperspace, Michio Kaku begins by describing the extraordinary advances that have transformed cosmology over the last century, and particularly over the last decade, forcing scientists around the world to rethink our understanding of the birth of the universe, and its ultimate fate. In Dr. Kaku's eyes, we are living in a golden age of physics, as new discoveries from the WMAP and COBE satellites and the Hubble space telescope have given us unprecedented pictures of our universe in its infancy. As astronomers wade through the avalanche of data from the WMAP satellite, a new cosmological picture is emerging. So far, the leading theory about the birth of the universe is the "inflationary universe theory," a major refinement on the big bang theory. In this theory, our universe may be but one in a multiverse, floating like a bubble in an infinite sea of bubble universes, with new universes being created all the time. A parallel universe may well hover a mere millimeter from our own. The very idea of parallel universes and the string theory that can explain their existence was once viewed with suspicion by scientists, seen as the province of mystics, charlatans, and cranks. But today, physicists overwhelmingly support string-theory, and its latest iteration, M-theory, as it is this onetheory that, if proven correct, would reconcile the four forces of the universe simply and elegantly, and answer the question "What happened before the big bang?" Already, Kaku explains, the world's foremost physicists and astronomers are searching for ways to test the theory of the multiverse using highly sophisticated wave detectors, gravity lenses, satellites, and telescopes. The implications of M-theory are fascinating and endless. If parallel worlds do exist, Kaku speculates, in time, perhaps a trillion years or more from now, as appears likely, when our universe grows cold and dark in what scientists describe as a big freeze, advanced civilizations may well find a way to escape our universe in a kind of "inter-dimensional lifeboat." An unforgettable journey into black holes and time machines, alternate universes, and multidimensional space, "Parallel Worlds gives us a compelling portrait of the revolution sweeping the world of cosmology.