Book Review: Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku

Physics of the future: how science will shape human destiny and our daily lives by the year 2100
By Michio Kaku
HSL Amesse/1st Floor, 303.48 KAK

In 1899, the commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents, Charles H. Duell, famously said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Today such a statement seems exceptionally myopic, but as citizens of 2012 know, hindsight is 20/20. The true challenge is envisioning the future with accuracy.

By interviewing hundreds of leading scientists across the disciplines of computer science, artificial intelligence, medicine, nanotechnology, physics, and even economics, Dr. Michio Kaku takes up the difficult task of synthesizing their collective works and envisioning what our global civilization may look like throughout the 21st century.

Dr. Kaku anticipates that nearly every aspect of our lives will involve computers and computer chips, woven into society in such a way that they become invisible and ubiquitous. Nanotechnology should develop to the point that our bodies will even be full of microscopic chips designed to monitor our health and alert us to potential diseases and cancers. While robots may become common place, we don’t need to fear a Matrix-like take over because scientists in the field of artificial intelligence have not been able to replicate emotional intelligence.

Energy of course will be a grave issue facing this century. Dr. Kaku examines the possibilities of magnetism, nuclear power, including fusion and fission, as well as wind and solar technologies. Developments in these areas will also benefit the future of space travel as we continue to explore our nearest planetary neighbors.

The world of 2100 is exciting and vibrant, thanks to the persistent scientific breakthroughs of this century. While Dr. Kaku’s 2100 feels a little too utopist, there is no question that science will continue to fuel and change our society in many significant ways.

-Reviewed by Brittany Heer
Library Technician II
Interlibrary Loan