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Physics of the future : the inventions that…

Physics of the future : the inventions that will transform our lives (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Michio Kaku

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9522113,888 (3.63)19
Title:Physics of the future : the inventions that will transform our lives
Authors:Michio Kaku
Info:London : Penguin, 2012.
Collections:Kindle, Your library

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Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku (2011)

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    Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Both books take a survey of cutting edge science & technology in various fields and extrapolate on how these advancements might effect life in the future.

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Michio Kaku is, in my opinion, our most entertaining science popularizer right now. He's a theoretical physicist and a science fiction fan, and the result is he's not afraid to imagine and project what might be, as well as talking knowledgeably about what we do know and can do now, on the cutting edge of science and technology.

In this book, he looks at what we can expect in technology in manufacturing, information technology, medicine, and transportation, in the near, medium, and more distant future. Said that way, it doesn't sound too exciting, but three-d printers, nano-technology, self-driving cars, and the ability to slow or reverse the aging process offer possibilities as amazing to us as airplanes and space travel would have been to 18th century Europeans. Programmable matter, able to transform into any number of different tools and objects at the press of a button, might turn out to be one of the more mundane developments.

Kaku breaks his text up into broad subject areas, including artificial intelligence, medicine, transportation, and space travel, and then gives us near-term, medium-term, and "by 2100 or beyond" projections of what we can expect. He has a clear, direct, conversational style, and never talks down to his readers, but assumes anyone can understand the essential points if they're explained clearly.


I borrowed this book from the library.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Robots, AI, nanotechnology, energy, superconductivity... The list of projected future achievements speculated about in this book is impressive. I look forward to seeing some of these things. An effective cure for aging perhaps is most appealing, since I'm beginning to feel the effects of this universally fatal ailment. But one thing that pervades this book is the (probably unintentional) implication that these these will come, inevitably. It's only a matter of time. I'm not saying they won't, it's just that scientific and technological advances don't just happen. People make them happen, and people can also fail to make them happen in any number of ways. The future may be a strange and wonderful place, but we have to work to get there.
Still, despite an overuse of sage, bumper sticker quotes, I found the book informative. I recommend it for readers with an interest in science and future tech. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |

Don't quit your day job just yet :-D
Good effort. Overly simplified.
( )
  Cal_Clapp | Sep 5, 2016 |
Couldn't finish the audio version. The narrator was fine, but new chapters and new sections were insufficiently marked and I kept losing track of the context and sequence of the discussion. Also, he blames historians for not effectively predicting the future in past books, and says that he and his fellow scientists will be more accurate. But that's a one-sided effort, too. To most accurately predict the future, one would need to consult scientists, developers of technology, and historians, and politicians, philosophers, anthropologists,sociologists, and psychologists.

For example early on (couldn't tell if it was part of the intro, or all or part of the first chapter) he discusses some specific recent failures of predictions, for example the paperless office. He claims that humans have an innate desire to see things for ourselves, and that's why we still print out e-mail. I say that most people who still print out e-mail are older or for some other reason less comfortable with modern devices. We are moving in the direction of paperless offices, just not fast enough for the author.

True, out of that discussion, he does bring up the conceptual link between Hi Tech and Hi Touch, and he does envision that the two strategies will continue to co-exist. But if he'd consulted people from a variety of fields, instead of from just hard sciences, he could have made that discussion a lot more coherent.

I also was frustrated by the lack of ability to check for notes, references, and a bibliography, in the audio edition. I must remember to read non-fiction as an e-book or on paper.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Reading this I really had the impression that it (and his The Future of the Mind) was written for a tabloid magazine mind set...I hope Hyperspace is better... ( )
  Rob3rt | Mar 3, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385530803, Hardcover)

Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100.

In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics.

In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world's information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye.

Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism.

Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically.

In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button.

But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg. Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper?

All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:50 -0400)

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Uses interviews with numerous top scientists to offer a vision of the year 2100 and how the science of the day will shape society and the everyday lives of people.

(summary from another edition)

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