Servius Heiner 's Reviews > Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku
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May 07, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: science
Recommended to Servius Heiner by: anyone who enjoys science
Read in May, 2008

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 include teleportation, anti-matter engines, certain forms of telepathy, psycho kinesis, and invisibility.”

“Class 2 Impossibilities: These are technologies that sit at the very edge of our understanding of the physical world. If they are possible at all, they might be realized on a scale of millennia to millions of years. They include time machines, the possibility of hyperspace travel, and travel through wormholes.”

“Class 3 impossibilities: These are technologies that violate the known laws of physics. Surprisingly, there are vary few such technologies. If they do turn out to be possible they would represent a fundamental shift in our understanding of physics.”

He also goes into detailing the classes of civilizations, which is important because there are just something you can’t do until you have the power to do them. We are a class “0” civilization.

Type 1 civilization: Those that harvest planetary power, utilizing all the sunlight that strikes their planet. They can, perhaps, harness the power of volcanoes, manipulate the weather, control earthquakes, and build cities on the oceans. All planetary power is with in their control.

Type 2 civilization: Those that can utilize the total power of their sun, making them 10 billion times more powerful then a type 1 civilization. The Federation in Star Trek is a type 2 civilization. A type 2 civilization in a sense, is immortal; nothing known to science, such as ice ages, meteor impacts, or even supernovae, can destroy it. (In the event their mother star is about to explode they can just move to another system, perhaps even move their planet.)

Type 3 civilization: Those that can utilize the power of an entire galaxy. They are 10 billion times more powerful then a type 2 civilization. The Borg in Star Trek, the Empire in Star Wars, and the galactic civilization in Asimov’s Foundation series correspond to a type 3 civilization. They have colonized entire star systems and can exploit the black hole at the center of their galaxy. They freely roam the galaxy.

Over all I was fascinated by this book, Michio has a way of explaining heavy physics without losing a reader without a doctorate. There are some things I wish he would have went into in greater detail, but I guess there are always more books.

I am growing tiered of this universe I think I will go check out the one next door.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Manny (new)

Manny But don't you also want a Type 4 civilization, that can utilize the power of the whole Universe? Like the Cosmic Mind in Star Maker?

Klaudio Marashi @Manny
You would think of that, you are right. But, harvesting the power of the universe is quite hard to do when you can't even see it fully, especially when it is expanding in increasing speeds. And besides that, one could include m-theory here as well, trying to harvest the power of 10^500 universes of the multiverse.
We need to let a lot of time pass in order to change the sorting of those known things. We will first have to know the limits (or the limitlessness) of the universe to even think of acquiring the power of the universe and then the multiverse.

Brian Matthew You are hilarious my man! Great review. I really loved this book and I appreciate the genius that Michio Kaku is, but it's hard to come back down to earth. So very hard once you control the universe.

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