Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
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Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  6,672 ratings  ·  250 reviews
In this thrilling journey into the mysteries of our cosmos, bestselling author Michio Kaku takes us on a dizzying ride to explore black holes and time machines, multidimensional space and, most tantalizing of all, the possibility that parallel universes may lay alongside our own. Kaku skillfully guides us through the latest innovations in string theory and its latest itera...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Doubleday Books
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Elaine
I hated Physics when I was a kid, because the teacher who taught me wore coke-bottle glasses, had halitosis, and his spittle flew. He also churned out equations on the board, and expected you to get E=mc2 as if you were born to do so. How can one not understand the elegance and simplicity and total enlightenment that this captured about our physical world? Well, I didn't. Because the physical world -- believe it or not -- was abstract enough not to grasp at the 10,000 foot level.

Ok, then comes P...more
Grumpus
If you are into time travel or a time travel author, this should be required reading (or in this case listening). Because there was so much great information presented in an understandable manner, this might become the only book that I will read after listening to it as I want to ensure I have this one as a reference.

The first third of the book was a good refresher and had me thinking, “I know this stuff”. . in fact, I felt a little cocky and questioned why I chose this book. Then came the heavy...more
Judyta Szaciłło
24 June 2013:

Help, help! I'm surrounded by microscopic wormholes and baby universes!

12 July 2013:

I have just finished the best pop-science book I have ever read (including Balcombe's "Pleasurable Kingdom" which I found very well-written, perfectly constructed and also very touching; a no. 1 until now).

The subject of the book is mind-blowing and it is extremely difficult to stay focused on the reading for a length of time, because it inspires and stretches imagination to the limits. I just couldn...more
Toomy
This book is an entertaining and interesting read. Almost no formula, although you still need some basics to get the most out of it. It will update your general knowledge about cosmology to year 2004, when the book was written.

The Large Hadron Collider(LHC) came online this year. Some scientists predicted that LHC could create black hole, which could destroy the earth. We all know what happened now. Dr. Kaku talked about LHC in his book - LHC could only create black hole in subatomic level with...more
Misha
მიჩიო კაკუ ალბათ ერთ-ერთი ყველაზე ცნობადი და პოპულარული ტელესახეა დღეს. მეცნიერების მნიშვნელოვანი ხმა, დიდ წილად უშინაარსო გართობაზე ორიენტირებულ მსოფლიო კულტურის სფეროში.
კაკუ science channel-ზე გავიცანი, თითქმის ყველა ჩემ საყვარელ დოკუმენტურ პროგრამას ან უძღვებოდა ან მონაწილეობდა მაინც: - How the Universe Works, Sci-fi Science physics of the impossible, 2057, Alien planet აგრეთვე Nova-ს BBC Horizon და History Channel-ის პროგრამებში. მოკლედ მიჩიო ყველგან იყო (და არის) ამ გარემოების ამოხსნა არაა...more
Heini
I am inclined to see this marvellously inspiring book as consisting of three distinct but entwined parts.

The first part is a an excellent account of the history of modern science told in Michio Kaku's impeccably witty and easily-understood narrative. As such I would recommend this book as a natural continuation of for instance Thomas S. Kuhn's "The Copernican Revolution" or some other similar book about the history of science in general. Parallel Worlds picks up naturally and leads us into the t...more
Gendou
Kaku starts off by comparing the big bang to the creation in Christian and Chinese mythology. Yuck. He also finishes off the book with a tedious digression into religious inanities.

The syrupy and hyperbole-riddled language is guaranteed to cause misunderstanding in anyone unfamiliar with cosmology, and irritation in anyone already familiar with cosmology. But hey, it's a popular science book, you sort of expect that.

Kaku attributes the "discovery" of dark matter and dark energy to the WMAP data....more
Nathan
Oct 06, 2007 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Star Trek fans.
Michio Kaku is quickly becoming my favorite science writer, and easily my favorite hypothetical or theoretical physicist. His ideas and the way he presents them make fun, easy reading for those of us who were always terrible in math and didn't digest much about astrophysics in school. He deals with a lot of "what if" scenarios, and more than most modern physicists he holds onto his imagination. Kaku's work bristles with excitement, something you can rarely say about a book covering cosmological...more
Hollins
Jul 01, 2011 Hollins rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of physics, the universe
This book isn't exactly light reading. It's not what I'm accustomed to reading, either, but science has always been one of those topics I love to watch on tv, but flounder at in class. But I wasn't being graded on Parallel Worlds so it worked out fine!

Mr. Kaku is actually one of my favorite guys on History Channel's The Universe (also gotta love Neil deGrasse Tyson) so I was really excited to read his book. I won't lie; it's not a summer beach read, in my opinion, but it's worth the read.

String...more
Lori
I've been putting off my review for this book in an attempt to organize my thoughts so the review consisted more of the contents within the book rather than just a mindless rant of how awesome Michio Kaku is. Unfortunately, my thoughts remained a jumbled mess as my giddiness took precedence.

So why is he just so fantastic? Michio Kaku is not only gifted in his abilities as a physicists (he is co-founder of string field theory, has written textbooks, articles, novels, etc. in the field of physics...more
Conrad Johnson
I'm sure there's a joke out there somewhere about how many theoretical physicists it takes to change a light bulb but I haven't heard it yet. I picked up this gem because I'm currently trying to write a sci-fi novel that deals with parallel universes and it's going very slowly, probably more slower than the rate at which the universe is supposedly cooling.

A lot has happened with quantum physics and M-theory since this book was published in 2006, but Kaku does an excellent job of explaining the b...more
Melmoth43
Albeit a comprehensive and informative history of Physics, I'm afraid the author and I parted company with the introduction of the String and M theories. To quote Einstein, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." At this stage, String and M are simply hypotheses, with little or no hard evidence to prove their validity. That may happen, but as of now, in their present form, I find them lacking in two features all great discoveries have: simplicity and elegance of de...more
Irena
An excellent read especially if you are interested in cosmology and modern physics. Very well written, the language is precise and not overwhelmed with technicalities and pseudo-clever demagogy, but at the same time advanced scientific topics and the latest scientific developments are presented by an insider in an interesting, concise and thought provoking way. Lots of food for thought and fascinating topics here from creation of the universe and the place of intelligent life in it to the distan...more
Troy Blackford
This was a strong physics book with an emphasis on string theory and fundamental particle physics. I enjoyed it because it's been a while since I read anything on string theory, and it was nice to hear about it from someone who not only believes it holds the answers to the future of physics, but who helped to co-found one of its tenants! One aspect of this book that I found mildly frustrating is that it is a little older (not much, though) and it kept talking about experiments and experimental a...more
David Schwinghammer
Michio Kaku's discussion of PARALLEL WORLDS results from physicists' attempts to reconcile Einstein's Theory of Relativity with that of quantum mechanics to form a "theory of everything." M-Theory, the newest form of string theory, allows for the possibility of a parallel universe no more than a millimeter from ours. Kaku believes the newest super collider, which should be ready in 2007, may reveal evidence pointing to this alternate universe.

Another theory, Alan Guth's inflationary universe the...more
Derek Davis
In the Constance Garnett translations of Dostoyevsky, exasperated characters routinely ejaculate "Tfoo!" To sum up this colossal muckheap of a book, I say, "Tfoo, Kaku!"

Apparently, Dr. K. has done decent theoretical work in physics, but his inability to present clear ideas or a logical structure for whatever it is he's trying to say makes that a little difficult to accept. His "aw shucks" little-boy approach to difficult concepts leaves more loose ends than my cat toying with our curtain.

My susp...more
Daavid
A very, very nice book..! Provided a radical understanding of the nature of nature from the physical perspective, while eventually ending the book with its plausible connections to divinity.
... a Superb Book!!
Mike Alcazaren
Excellent book. I love how Dr. Kaku is able to take complex topics and break them into more palatable chunks. A few of the concepts were still over my head.
Max Wilson
Just finished this one - good read but very similar to Hyperspace. This book is less fanciful and discusses more Quantum Theory than cosmology.
Lacer
Published in (I think) 2005, some aspects of the book, specifically those describing current and upcoming experimental programs, is a little dated. In the 9 or so years since publication, we have continued to progress at the fantastic rate hinted at within the book. However out of date info on experiments aside, this is a great book, fantastic if you like your scifi, forget stuff dredged up from Gene Rodenberry's head, the real stuff (and the potential for what we could do in the future) is even...more
Lilly B-K
My friends are free to keep the "nerd" comments coming, but I genuinely enjoy Kaku's writing style, and Parallel Worlds is one of a number of his books that I've read. His use of analogies makes the concepts fairly easy to understand and absorb, although sacrificing their mathematical portions. However, as interesting as the book was, I found that it seemed like a slightly more confusing version of Kaku's earlier work, Hyperspace. Parallel Worlds tackled many of the same ideas, but was structure...more
John
This book is great for imparting a general overview of the history of cosmology, as well as for giving readers a general idea as to the current (as of 2004) scientific trends and ideas being hashed out by physicists all over the globe. For that purpose, the book is easy to recommend. If, however, you are looking for solid scientific FACTS that modern cosmology has unearthed, you will likely be disappointed. Since Einstein, most highly-regarded theories in the realm of cosmology have been purely...more
Ben Dutton
Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist who seems determined to bring the complex ideas and theories of his field to a much wider audience, and if the evidence of this book is anything to go by, then it is a field that we as a race should be paying closer attention to.

Astronomer Royal Martin Rees called Kaku’s book “an exhilarating romp through the frontiers of cosmology” and that is the best summation of this book that I can find. It is a romp – taking in Newtonian physics, black holes, wormhole...more
James
The book pulled together multiple concepts that I've studied and read about in the past. I've additionally had a chance to watch many of Michio Kaku's shows on the science channel that introduced a lot of the concepts presented in the book.

Good parts about this book included:
- In depth look at the progression towards string theory
- Expanding galaxy and how in the future, we will only see our galaxy
- Details and history about night sky observations, comets, telescopes
- Details about particle acc...more
Simcha Wood
Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds is a welcome entry in the genre of popular physics. Parallel Worlds tracks recent developments in the realm of cosmology and presents in a wholly engaging and accessible manner.

The book is divided into three broad sections: the first summarizing the evolution and development of cosmology, the second presenting emerging theories - including superstring theory and M-theory - and the third being something of an extended thought experiment that begins with a narrative o...more
something_
Amazing! I forgot how much I loved reading science books!

This book is very understandable, even for someone who does not have a lot of knowledge in physics. I loved the theories and the speculation a quite a lot too. "Is our Universe in a cd-rom?", "Is there a purpose to the Universe?", are questions that are posed at the end of the book, matters that I love to think about. Understanding the string and the M theory, as well as many others, was also very rewarding!

Having a better understanding...more
A.M.
Finally a book on quantum physics that English majors can enjoy - and understand. Michio Kaku, where have you been all my life? For any lay person interested in the history of quantum theory from Newton to Einstein's theory of relativity to string theory, M-theory and an explanation of Shrodinger's cat, Parallel Worlds is an engaging read and a vital reference book. My only caveat is that it was published in 2005, and there have been significant technological developments since then.

I took four...more
Jim
OK- While in various altered states of my own, I've shared rants and raves w a handful of friends on the wonders of string theory. Even one oration to my bemused and frightened mother. One problem- I had no idea what I was talking about- only that I wanted to believe! However, after reading this confounding book by Kaku-one of theories leading PR man- I'm considering believing in God again because it makes A LOT more sense. Einstein believed any theory that couldn't be illustrated so a child cou...more
Ryan Scicluna
Suggested Further Reading:

The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity - Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin
Tau Zero - Poul Anderson
The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov
The Artful Universe - John D. Barrow
The Universe that Discovered Itself - John D. Barrow
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle - John D. Barrow and F. Tipler
Einstein's Unfinished Symphony: Listening to the Sounds of Space-Time - Marcia Bartusiak
Eon - Greg Bear
Men of Mathematics - E.T. Bell
Quantum Profiles - Jeremy Bernstein
E...more
Boorrito
I thought about the star rating for this book a lot. I decided to err towards 4 stars in the end because it kept me interested right till the final chapter which I skimmed. I think humanity is much more likely to wipe itself out a long time before the universe starts to end so it didn't hold my attention well.

I think I'm part of the target audience for this book. I did physics at school and was terrible at it, ended up hating the subject due to crappy teaching, not very good at maths but I am i...more
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18800
Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist at the City College of New York , best-selling author, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science. He has written several books about physics and related topics of science.

He has written two New York Times Best Sellers, Physics of the Impossible (2008) and Physics of the Future (2011).

Dr. Michio is the co-founder of string field t...more
More about Michio Kaku...
Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe

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“Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.” 88 likes
“Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg likens this multiple universe theory to radio. All around you, there are hundreds of different radio waves being broadcast from distant stations. At any given instant, your office or car or living room is full of these radio waves. However, if you turn on a radio, you can listen to only one frequency at a time; these other frequencies have decohered and are no longer in phase with each other. Each station has a different energy, a different frequency. As a result, your radio can only be turned to one broadcast at a time.Likewise, in our universe we are "tuned" into the frequency that corresponds to physical reality. But there are an infinite number of parallel realities coexisting with us in the same room, although we cannot "tune into" them. Although these worlds are very much alike, each has a different energy. And because each world consists of trillions upon trillions of atoms, this means that the energy difference can be quite large. Since the frequency of these waves is proportional to their energy (by Planck's law), this means that the waves of each world vibrate at different frequencies and cannot interact anymore. For all intents and purposes, the waves of these various worlds do not interact or influence each other.” 9 likes
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