Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century

Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century

Paperback

By (author) Michio Kaku

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  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 24mm | 420g
  • Publication date: 4 March 1999
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192880187
  • ISBN 13: 9780192880185
  • Sales rank: 771,817

Product description

New in paperback, from the bestselling author of Hyperspace, this spellbinding book brings together the cutting-edge research of today's foremost scientists to explore the science of tomorrow. Michio Kaku describes the development of computers and artificial intelligence, reveals how the decoding of the genetic structure of DNA will allow us to alter and reshape our genetic inheritance, and observes how quantum physicists are perfecting new ways of harnessing the matter and energy of the Universe. Visions is an exhilarating adventure into the future of our planet and ourselves.

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Author information

Michio Kaku is Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York. An internationally acclaimed physicist, he is the co-founder of the string field theory. He hosts a weekly hour-long radio science programme in the USA, and has appeared on many television programmes.

Review quote

If you only read one book about the 21st century, this is it Focus highly accessible and readable New Scientist

Editorial reviews

Here's another entry in the game of predicting what science and technology will come up with after the turn of the millennium, this one from a theoretical physicist. Kaku, author of Hyperspace (1994), defines his central thesis in a few words: We humans are about to make the transition "from being passive observers of Nature to active choreographers of Nature." He forecasts major breakthroughs in three specific areas: computer science, molecular biology, and quantum physics. While all three of these disciplines have already had a significant impact on our daily lives, Kaku finds a broad consensus among scientists, many of whom believe that everything we have seen so far is merely a prelude to what lies in store. In particular, while the development to date of these areas of science has been marked by extreme specialization, the 21st century is likely to be an age of synergy, in which each area builds on the discoveries of the others. On a 20-year time frame, computer chips will become smaller, cheaper, and almost ubiquitous; genetic therapy will have cured many diseases, possibly including most cancers. But beyond that point, it appears that fundamental bottlenecks in both computer science and molecular biology will necessitate new breakthroughs, many of which will derive from quantum physics. This may fuel a new round of technological innovations, among them artificial intelligence (a robot in every home), tailor-made organisms (new foods and medicines), nanotechnology, and new energy sources. Kaku does not ignore the potential downside of these developments, examining such nightmare scenarios as robot killing machines fighting future wars and a revived eugenics movement. But if all goes well, says Kaku, we may well develop into a true planetary society, the first step toward making the entire universe our home. With this fascinating volume, Kaku positions himself as a worthy successor to the late Carl Sagan as a spokesman for the potential of science to revolutionize our lives. (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

Preface ; Part 1: Visions ; 1. Choreographers of matter, life, and intelligence ; Part 2: The Computer Revolution ; 2. The invisible computer ; 3. The intelligent planet ; 4. Machines that think ; 5. Beyond silicon; cyborgs and the ultimate computer ; 6. Second thoughts: will humans become obsolute? ; Part 3: The Biomolecular Revolution ; 7. Personal DNA codes ; 8. Conquering cancer - fixing our genes ; 9. Molecular medicine and the mind/body link ; 10. To live forever? ; 11. Playing God: designer children and clones ; 12. Second thoughts: brave new world? ; Part 4: The Quantum Revolution ; 13. The quantum future ; 14. To reach for the stars ; 15. Birth of a planetary civilization ; 16. Children of the stars ; Index