Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  13,348 ratings  ·  702 reviews
A fascinating exploration of the science of the impossible—from death rays and force fields to invisibility cloaks—revealing to what extent such technologies might be achievable decades or millennia into the future.

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published March 11th 2008 by Doubleday (first published 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Science Books - Non-Fiction Only
88th out of 709 books — 1,815 voters
Freakonomics by Steven D. LevittGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondOutliers by Malcolm GladwellThe Elegant Universe by Brian GreeneThe Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins
Best Pop Science Books
23rd out of 83 books — 89 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mohamed Ibrahim
انتهيت فى 3 ساعات ليلا قبل امتحان مادة الادب من الكتاب وهو كتاب جيد الي حد كبير وتقييمي له بشكل عام اربع نقاط وسيفقد الخامسة بسبب افراطه فى الاعتقادات الشخصية فى بعض الجزئيات التي ابتعد بها عن الاصول العلمية

دعني اولا لاني كما الاحظ ساكون اول من يكتب مراجعة من العرب علي الكتاب بعد ترجمته وطرحه من مجلة عالم المعرفة اني اعرف به اولا

من هو ميتشيو كاكو ؟

هو عالم الفيزياء الامريكي الشهير والمختص بالفيزياء النظرية ، ولد في 24 يناير 1947، بسان خوسيه، كاليفورنيا من والدين يابانيين مهاجرين إلى الولايات ا...more
Servius  Heiner
May 07, 2008 Servius Heiner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Servius Heiner by: anyone who enjoys science
Shelves: science
This book is standard Michio Kaku. He starts off discussing the three classes of impossibilities. (Understand that much of what you would think of as impossible is not really impossible. In order to be proven impossible it must break a law of physics, there is not much that does.)

“Class 1 Impossibilities: These are technologies that are impossible today but that do not violate the known laws of physics. So they might be possible in this century, or perhaps the next, in modified form. They includ...more
Felicia
Looking for something substantive? Look for this author, his books are so interesting and engrossing. Here he dissects all the Sci-Fi tropes and explains how each of them is impossible, or what the hell it would take to make it a reality. I learned quite a lot and it was not too jumbled for a non-scientist like me to read.
Trevor
There is no denying that this is an interesting book and one that presented many of the problems of physics in a way that is comprehensive, comprehensible and engaging. I think other people (people with a greater interest in science fiction, particularly) will find this book even more interesting than I did and more accessible than your standard pop science book on physics. I hadn’t realised I knew quite so little about science fiction – I hadn’t ever really thought about the fact that I hadn’t...more
John Stevens
Dr. Michio Kaku is perhaps the or one of the most brilliant minds in theoretical physics living today. I've seen him present several concepts and theories on the Discovery Channel.
I am a man who truly appreciates the marvel of theoretical physics. The stuff of Albert Einstein. Although I have some education along these lines and have watched and read quite a lot, I still find it very difficult to follow.
In this book/audio book, Dr. Kaku takes us on a journey into all of those "sci-fi sciences"...more
Doug
Great introduction to current issues in Physics - without the pain of complex equations. Also, fun as the author esplores the plausibility of the physics in the Star Trek, Star Wars, and Time travel movies and books.
Ben Babcock
I was never promised a flying car.

What I mean to say is that my generation was never the generation of flying cars. We grew up knowing better. It’s been seventy years since we started breaking open atomic nuclei to harness their incredible capacity for destruction and creation, and we are still sucking fossilized plants from the bowels of the Earth and lighting it on fire as fuel. My parents grew up watching men go to the moon. I grew up watching NASA’s budget bleeding out on the table, their sh...more
Eric
While I really liked this book, a lot, it felt incomplete to me in that much of the math and science behind these concepts is not very in depth. Sure, it's not a text book, but I would have liked to have seen equations or at least references to something that could explain the math.

Also, while there is a TARDIS on the cover, there is no TARDIS, and no mention of Doctor Who at all in the book. I felt slightly cheated, but not enough to not give it a five star rating.

Oh, and the other quibble. V...more
Muhammad Shakhawat Hossain
How often do you wonder about The Future? Can you conceive of the technologies people are going to use in the next millennium? Or is it at all conceivable? Is the ever growing ‘Technology Monster’ finally going to define or explain ‘every’ phenomenon around us some time in the far future? What about super intelligent extraterrestrials? Do they really exist? Are they going to invade us like the Hollywood ones? Can humans use psychokinesis in their regular lives as Jean Grey does in the X-Men comi...more
Tom
They speak only the truth when the haters call string theorist Michio Kaku desperately nutty but none who believes this would then impute him for writing a bad book. And good news for the equation-phobes as Dr. Kaku stays well clear of his pet subject in Physics of the Impossible, excepting a flip riposte to the current backlash against string theory in the final chapter (but if you're interested in the world of vibrating strings after all, I would recommend skipping The Elegant Universe by Bria...more
Terence
Jul 31, 2012 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steve Semon
Recommended to Terence by: Xmas present (2011) from the nieces
Shelves: science-general
Michio Kaku is nothing if not optimistic. Is there anything currently in the realm of SF that we cannot do (in some fashion), eventually? Apparently not. Even perpetual motion and precognition may be possible with a better understanding of our universe (or multiverse). In Physics of the Impossible, Kaku, theoretical physicist and one of the developers of string theory, looks at some of the common technologies found in SF and discusses – in a very general and user-friendly way – whether or not th...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Kaku (Parallel Worlds, Beyond Einstein, Hyperspace) introduces complex theories of physics to general readers. As The Economist notes, Kaku "makes a good stab at explaining difficult physics. But his grasp of his subject is perhaps trumped by his knowledge of science fiction." While Kaku writes in language designed to captivate nonscience readers, it's his references to pop culture

Fred Forbes
When the author appeared at a convention I attended last year I was surprised not to have heard of him as he was listed as a NY Times best seller. I was impressed enough with his talk to order a couple of his books, this one among them.

He divides phenomena into 3 levels of the impossible. Class I impossibilities are those that are "impossible today but that do not violate the known laws of physics." Examples would include teleportation, antimatter engines and "certain forms of telepathy, psychok...more
Frank
Dr. Michio Kaku's "Physics of the Impossible" is the type of book that blows you mind open with the possibilites. Dr. Kaku is one of the most prolific physicists on the modern age. In "Physics of the Impossible" he explores the realistic possibilities of the science fiction of today becoming the science fact in the not too distant future.

In fact, for the most part, the stuff of sci-fi novels will not only become the fodder for tomarrow's non-fiction novels but the fiction may be near childs play...more
Jake Buchanan
When you think of a high school science fair, I'm sure memories of Baking Soda volcanoes and potato light bulbs come racing to mind. Kaku had a different plan; he built an Atom smasher (also called a particle accelerator) in his basement. This led him on the fast track to a successful life as a theoretical physicist, popularizing science for much of the public eye. Kaku has done this by appearing on many television shows, hosting talk radio shows, and even writing books. In Michio Kaku's 2008 b...more
عبد الرحمن نادي
الكثير من الفيزياء ، بعض الخيال ، و القليل من الرياضة .

صنف المؤلف الكتاب إلي ثلاث أجزاء ، الأول مستحيلات النوع الأول التي استهلكت معظم جهد المؤلف ، الثاني مستحيلات النوع الثاني ، و الثالث مستحيلات النوع الثالث التي ربما من المستحيل تماما أن تتحقق في أي زمن .

مستحيلات النوع الأول هي تطبيقات فيزيائية صعب أن تتحق بقدراتنا الحالية ، لكن من المحتمل جدا أن تتحقق خلال هذا القرن ، كلها تقيربا تعتمد علي الطاقة بشكل أساسي ، و توفير كمية معينة - ضخمة غالا - من الطاقة سيؤدي إلى تنفيذها فورا ، مثل حقول الطاقة...more
Khalid
This book is one of the best books in science. The approach the author follows is really interesting. He would take things that are available in science fiction, and discuss how they can be possible in real life, using real physics. He starts with attainable things, until he gets to the really impossible things.

This book gives you a very interesting perspective on physics, and is definitely worth reading for any science fiction enthusiast. Part of what I read from it is that science fiction writ...more
Jenny williams
I love Michio Kaku's approach, theories and views. I follow his website from time to time to see what different discoveries he makes every day. Physics Of The Impossible is a novel that requires some background knowledge and understanding of physics to truly get what he is saying. This book had example after example after example of all of the different things they said we would NEVER be able to do as a human race and just a decade or so later we are doing far more than what scientists said was...more
Caleb
Given that I'm relatively new to the scientific world, I found all of this book to be entirely fascinating. It introduced me to the world of technology that may indeed be possible some day like time travel machines, force fields, psychokinesis. The list goes on. Most of it was presented so that a fairly intelligent reader can understand, but there were, however, some parts that could use a little clarification for those who aren't as scientifically educated. Kaku never goes too in depth on any o...more
Pavlo
Ця книга - справжня продушина для тих, кого серйозно засмучує неможливість міжзоряних польотів або подорожей у часі, для тих, хто не хоче миритися із обмеженнями, накинутими на людські фантазії законами сучасної фізики.

Легко і жваво написана, "Фізика неможливого" є класним прикладом того, якою має бути науково-популярна література. В ній всього є потрохи: трохи серйозної науки, трохи анекдотів з життя вчених (деякі навіть пікантні), трохи моралізаторства. Але головне, що вся книга просякнута бе...more
Mi Camino Blanco
¿Algunas de las tecnologías que hoy consideramos imposibles podrían ser habituales en el futuro? Con este planteamiento, el autor da un repaso a una lista de imposibilidades que hoy pertenecen al ámbito de la ciencia ficción o la superchería y desgrana las leyes físicas y las investigaciones que pudieran muy bien hacerlas realidad en un futuro más o menos lejano.

Su división en tres categorías (cosas imposibles pero probables en un futuro cercano, cosas imposibles pero probables en un futuro muy...more
Tyler
This book caught my attention. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about physics and the future of new discoveries. It is a good tool to use for learning history on science. It would also help anyone who wants to know about new technology. This book would be for young adults and older. It is a hard book to understand. Background in physics helps you to understand what is happening.
Gerhardt Himmelmann
In Physics of the Impossible, physicist Michio Kaku picks out some common science-fiction tropes, grades them into three categories of impossibility, and then discusses current work in theoretical physics that touches on the fictional technology in some way.

I like Kaku’s taxonomy. He distinguishes between technology that violates no known physical laws but hasn’t actually been built yet (“Class I impossibilities”), technology that is based on the fringes of theoretical physics and whose possibil...more
John
This is a good book for understanding where we are in terms of making some of science fiction's wildest technological advances into reality. It's a difficult read, but easy to get into because Kaku is obviously a science fiction buff who is very passionate and knowledgeable about his topic. I'm only giving it three stars, though, partly because so much of it is wildly speculative and therefore not very practical, and partly because Kaku, like so many other scientists along with him, sometimes pu...more
John
Interesting exploration of what may someday be. Though Mr. Kaku is probably right in most of what he says, I am saddened to hear that he leaves little room for the discovery of additional laws of physics that will blow his timeline away.

I suppose that it is only to be expected when you speak to a scientist that only what is scientifically known now is appropriate for consideration. Still, he could have been a bit more flexible in how he worded some of his more absolute statements. Right now, he...more
Arminius
Physics of the Impossible is a science book which describes a lot of science fiction books and television fantasy through the view of physics. The author, Michio Kaku, for example analyzes the television show Star Trek’s extraordinary use of teleportation through a scientific physics spectrum. He breaks down not yet realized and even fantasized possible breakthroughs in technology into three possibilities. Class I possibilities, he believes, could be realized in this or the next century. He incl...more
Joseph
This was the first book I have read by Kaku, but it will definitely not be the last. I am not very knowledgeable about math or science in general, but he was extremely easy to understand (for most of the book) and this book was a very enjoyable page turner. He has clearly read a lot of Sci-Fi novels, as all of the "impossible" things he discusses are taken from things like Star Wars or Star Trek, which makes it even more interesting to read (at least for a lover of Sci-Fi like myself).

In the las...more
Marco Santini
Michio Kaku is a distinguished physicist and futurist, committed to peace and environment.
In this book he introduces concepts of fundamental physics about stealth technology, teleportation time travel, force fields, etc. He bases his analysis on the newest frontiers in physics. However he admits that much more has still to be learned about physics and universe. It is actually an intriguing text aiming at teaching science. However the definition of three classes of impossibilities leaves me some...more
Tim
This read was an experiment - not normally my type of reading for pleasure, rather truly meant as a read for growth and expansion. After all, who is against trying to expand the sphere of the subjects they read, and as a bonus, perhaps they'll learn something of value - science wise.

Thus, Physics of the Impossible, written by a nice looking guy (back cover), Michio Kaku, who is the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. As the int...more
Ramy
كتاب رائع هو يتناول تاريخ العلم و مستقبل العلم : كل ما حققته الفيزياء و كل ما تطمح لتحقيقه و قسم العالم الكبير ما لم تحققه الفيزياء حتى الان ل 3 مستحيلات تختلف على حسب المدة الزمنية المقترحة حتى يصبح ذلك المستحيل متاح للبشر
مستحيلات من النوع الاول
و التى ستتحقق فى غضون عشرات السنين القادمة مثل حقول القوة الغير مرئية و التى تحمى سفن الفضاء فى قصص الخيال لعلمى و الاحتجاب عن الرؤية التخفى و مدافع الليزر القاتلة و النقل الفورى الكمومى و و التخاطر التليباثى و التحريك العقلى بسيكونيسيس و الروبوتات و...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
  • Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe
  • Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
  • Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
  • Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy
  • The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next
  • A Briefer History of Time
  • The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World
  • In Search of the Multiverse
  • The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen
  • Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
  • The Physics of Star Trek
  • QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
  • From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time
  • Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time
  • Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End...
  • The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
  • Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World
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...
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century

Share This Book

“بسبب فقر فارادي الشديد في صباه فقد كان أمياً بالرياضيات ونتيجة لذلك لم تكن دفاتره زاخرة بالمعادلات الرياضية بل الأشكال المرسومة فقط لخطوط القوة والتي تعد أحد أهم المفاهيم في العلم كله ..
ومن المفارقة بأن افتقاره لتعلم الرياضيات قاده إلى صنع تلك الأشكال التي توجد الآن في قلب الفيزياء.”
7 likes
“على سبيل المثال، صنع علماء من جامعة كورنيل أصغير غيتار في العالم وهو أصغر بـ20 مرة من شعرة إنسان ومصنوع من بلورة سيلكونية. ولهذا الغيتار ستة أوتار كل منها بسمك 100 ذرة ويمكن العزف بتحريك الأوتار عن طريق مجهر قوة ذرية، هذا الغيتار يعزف الموسيقى حقاً ولكن بترددات أعلى بكثير من مستوى الأذن البشرية.” 6 likes
More quotes…