Michio Kaku


American Futurist, Theoretical Physicist, Popularizer of Science, Author, Henry Semat Chair and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York

Author Quotes

In some sense, gravity does not exist; what moves the planets and the stars is the distortion of space and time.

It is remarkable that a gigantic, city-size computer is required to simulate a piece of human tissue that weighs three pounds, fits inside your skull, raises your body temperature by only a few degrees, uses twenty watts of power, and needs only a few hamburgers to keep it going.

Like the invention of the telescope, the introduction of MRI machines and a variety of advanced brain scans.

No one knows who wrote the laws of physics or where they come from. Science is based on testable, reproducible evidence, and so far we cannot test the universe before the Big Bang.

Our astronauts, when they go orbiting around the earth, they actually come back slightly younger than a twin that they would have on the planet Earth who was stationary. This is called the twin paradox.

Science is definitely part of America's infrastructure, the engine of prosperity. And yet science is given almost no visibility in the media.

Some people seek meaning in life through personal gain, through personal relationship, or through personal experiences. However, it seems to me that being blessed with the intellect to divine the ultimate secrets of nature gives meaning enough to life.

The Earth moves in the middle of a "cosmic shooting gallery" of asteroids, comets, and other debris drifting near the orbit of the Earth, and a collision with any one of them could result in our demise.

The most immediate advantage of these technologies is to relieve human suffering. Already, people who are totally paralyzed, who are living souls trapped inside a vegetable of a body, are now being given the gift of movement. Chips connected to their brains allow them to manipulate mechanical arms, surf the web, write e-mails, play video games, control household appliances. Anything that we can do via a computer, they can do as well. Eventually, this technology will become widely available. We will be able to walk into a room and immediately control all the chips hidden in that room. We will be like magicians, able to control everything around us mentally. We might also be able to control robots with superhuman bodies (like in the movies ?Surrogates? and ?Avatar?) so that we can live on other planets, explore the heavens, work in dangerous environments, or have powerful exoskeletons like in ?Iron Man.?

The universe is a symphony of strings, and the mind of God that Einstein eloquently wrote about for thirty years would be cosmic music resonating through eleven-dimensional hyper space.

A hydrogen bomb, for me, was puny compared to the Big Bang - the creation of the universe. That's what I really wanted to work on - the nature of the universe itself, and that's what I do for a living.

Anything that promotes a kernel of science, even though it's exaggerated and hyped by Hollywood, I think is a step forward. We in the ivory tower ultimately have to realize that in some sense we have to sing for our supper.

Climate change is the 800-pound gorilla in the living room that the media dances around. But in the scientific community, it's a settled question: 95 percent of scientists believe this is happening with 100 percent confidence temperatures are rising.

Eventually, everyone will have his or her personalized genome available on a CD-ROM. It will list all your approximately 25,000 genes; it will be your ?owner?s manual.?

Fourth is Lambda, the cosmological constant, which determines the acceleration of the universe.

I believe that science is the engine of prosperity, that if you look around at the wealth of civilization today, it's the wealth that comes from science.

I think he is as close as you are going to get to a living Albert Einstein today.

In 1967, the second resolution to the cat problem was formulated by Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, whose work was pivotal in laying the foundation of quantum mechanics and also building the atomic bomb. He said that only a conscious person can make an observation that collapses the wave function. But who is to say that this person exists? You cannot separate the observer from the observed, so maybe this person is also dead and alive. In other words, there has to be a new wave function that includes both the cat and the observer. To make sure that the observer is alive, you need a second observer to watch the first observer. This second observer is called Wigner?s friend, and is necessary to watch the first observer so that all waves collapse. But how do we know that the second observer is alive? The second observer has to be included in a still-larger wave function to make sure he is alive, but this can be continued indefinitely. Since you need an infinite number of friends to collapse the previous wave function to make sure they are alive, you need some form of cosmic consciousness, or God. Wigner concluded: It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness. Toward the end of his life, he even became interested in the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. In this approach, God or some eternal consciousness watches over all of us, collapsing our wave functions so that we can say we are alive. This interpretation yields the same physical results as the Copenhagen interpretation, so this theory cannot be disproven. But the implication is that consciousness is the fundamental entity in the universe, more fundamental than atoms. The material world may come and go, but consciousness remains as the defining element, which means that consciousness, in some sense, creates reality. The very existence of the atoms we see around us is based on our ability to see and touch them.

In string theory, all particles are vibrations on a tiny rubber band; physics is the harmonies on the string; chemistry is the melodies we play on vibrating strings; the universe is a symphony of strings, and the 'Mind of God' is cosmic music resonating in 11-dimensional hyperspace.

It is sometimes helpful to differentiate between the God of Miracles and the God of Order. When scientists use the word God, they usually mean the God of Order. ...The God of Miracles intervenes in our affairs, performs miracles, destroys wicked cities, smites enemy armies, drowns the Pharaoh's troops, and avenges the pure and noble. ...This is not to say that miracles cannot happen, only that they are outside what is commonly called science.

Many of these theories have been killed off only when some decisive experiment exposed their incorrectness? Thus the yeoman work in any science.. Is done by the experimentalist, who must keep the theoreticians honest.

No other theory known to science [other than superstring theory] uses such powerful mathematics at such a fundamental level. ...because any unified field theory first must absorb the Riemannian geometry of Einstein's theory and the Lie groups coming from quantum field theory... The new mathematics, which is responsible for the merger of these two theories, is topology, and it is responsible for accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of abolishing the infinities of a quantum theory of gravity.

Our eyes also fool us into thinking we can see depth. The retinas of our eyes are two-dimensional, but because we have two eyes separated by a few inches, the left and right brain merge these two images, giving us the false sense of a third dimension.

Science is given almost no visibility in the media. If a Martian came down to Earth and watched television, he'd come to the conclusion that all the world's society is based on Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. He'd be amazed that our society hasn't collapsed.

Some scientists have gone further and have speculated that there is a God gene that predisposes the brain to be religious. Since most societies have created a religion of some sort, it seems plausible that our ability to respond to religious feelings might be genetically programmed into our genome.

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American Futurist, Theoretical Physicist, Popularizer of Science, Author, Henry Semat Chair and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York