Blog Posts

05
Jan

Ask Michio Your Questions

Click here for Michio’s Profile.

Michio Kaku wants to find a one-inch equation that will explain everything. But for now we’ll settle for a new “Secret Life” record for questions (78 of ‘em…). Thank you, Secret Lifers!


Q: Max R

With all the complexity and beauty that comprises the natural world and its workings, why do you believe it so important to reduce it to a single theory?

A: Michio Kaku

Everything we know about basic science leads us to believe that there are simple, unifying principles behind everything. In biology, for example, evolution and DNA allows us to explain the diversity of all life on earth. In geology, continental drift allows us to unify many diverse observations about the earth. In chemistry, the atomic theory allows us to decribe all matter. And all of these principles, in turn, are byproducts of elementary particle physics. So far, the leading candidate for a theory of all elementary particles is string theory, which in turn represent all particles as musical notes on a string.

So nature is based on simple, elegant principles. But to understand the interactions of these simple principles, you have to understand the vast complexity that we see in nature. So the natural world surrounding us is full of complexity, but this in turn is based on the interactions of a handful of basic principles.


Q: Sebastien Carassou

Hi Mr. Kaku. What was the event that pushed you in the physics field? Also, it seems like you are a big science fiction fan. How does your work influence the way you see scifi today?

A: Michio Kaku

When I was 8, two events pushed me in the direction of physics, and also science fiction. First, everyone was talking about the death of Albert Einstein when I was 8, and that he could not finish his greatest work. To me, that story was so fascinating that I wanted to help finish that work (his theory of everything). Second, I used to watch Flash Gordon on TV, and was hooked. Later, I realized that these two events were complimentary. If you understand fundamental physics, then you also understand whether certain of the devices of science fiction are possible or not. On one hand, I work on string theory, which we think is Einstein’s unified field theory. But understanding basic physics, I can also understand what technologies might or might not be possible centuries from now. (For details, see my latest book, Physics of the Future, about the next 100 years). So the key to understanding the future is to understand physics.

Science fiction today also forces physicists to understand the very limits of science. You cannot create new science unless you realize where the old science leaves off and new science begins, and science fiction forces us to confront this.


Q: Science Guy

Hi, I’m a 12 year old kid who’s read physics of the impossible about 15 times over the summer and I was wondering, is there any way that dimensions could exist in a sort of spheres within in spheres where the 1st and 2nd dimension are inside the third and so on? I got this idea after reading about how light may be a wave in the forth spatial dimension creating almost a shadow down upon ours.

A: Michio Kaku

You are right in stating that light may be a result of higher dimensions.Think of fish swimming in a shallow pond. They live in a 2D, flat universe, with no awareness of the 3rd dimension, which to them is a fiction. But if it rains, then ripples on the surface of their 2D pond appears as waves which they can clearly see. So, if we are the fish, then we live in a 3D world, but ripples on the surface of this 3D world (ripples in 4D) would be visible to us as waves, which might be light. In fact, light is described by Maxwell’s equations. And, if you take a 4D world and vibrate it, the vibrations obey Maxwell’s equations (as first shown by Theodr Kaluza in the 1920s). So light may indeed be vibrations in a higher dimension.

However, these dimensions are inside one another. These dimensions are at right angles to each other (like the corner of a cube).


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Tom Miller

    Tom Miller is the producer of “Secret Life” and co-editor of the site’s blog. His job involves interviewing scientists and engineers, getting them to tell their amazing stories and occasionally trying to get them to sing. It’s a fantastic gig and Tom is extremely grateful for it.

    • Ben

      Hi , Mr kaku, I have very remarkable situation is all the time make me question ? Which is my night dream become reality of next day or may be month later so on ,as I was dream one time that I was become king, I have couples beautiful queens ,and also I was hero in the dream ,but next morning I was wake up and feel automated rush to turn on the TV , however that moment I was very surprise because same my last night dream play on the TV, same action and same situation too, but character is not me ,because reality.
      Another thing is when I was school exam which was month later I should take ,but before that I get my dream again and occur my score is 83, so that is also become reality too, indeed , that what you want to explain that phenomenon and for scientifically.
      So next question is our life is order already or maybe somebody control our conscious of Everything ?????????

    • Ben

      Hi , Mr kaku, I have very remarkable situation is all the time make me question ? Which is my night dream become reality of next day or may be month later so on ,as I was dream one time that I was become king, I have couples beautiful queens ,and also I was hero in the dream ,but next morning I was wake up and feel automated rush to turn on the TV , however that moment I was very surprise because same my last night dream play on the TV, same action and same situation too, but character is not me ,because reality.
      Another thing is when I was school exam which was month later I should take ,but before that I get my dream again and occur my score is 83, so that is also become reality too, indeed , that what you want to explain that phenomenon and for scientifically.
      So next question is our life is order already or maybe somebody control our conscious of Everything ????????? Hi , Mr kaku, I have very remarkable situation is all the time make me question ? Which is my night dream become reality of next day or may be month later so on ,as I was dream one time that I was become king, I have couples beautiful queens ,and also I was hero in the dream ,but next morning I was wake up and feel automated rush to turn on the TV , however that moment I was very surprise because same my last night dream play on the TV, same action and same situation too, but character is not me ,because reality.
      Another thing is when I was school exam which was month later I should take ,but before that I get my dream again and occur my score is 83, so that is also become reality too, indeed , that what you want to explain that phenomenon and for scientifically.
      So next question is our life is order already or maybe somebody control our conscious of Everything ?????????

    • christinaak

      Would one
      use timescale calculus or quantum calculus (or an alternative) to track the
      motion of a particle oscillating thru a hierarchically stratified space-time
      framework of 3 strata consisting of 12 dimensions (4 dimensions, 3 space and 1
      time per strata)? As the particle oscillates through each strata it
      ‘experiences’ a variation in relativistic effects, because of each stratum
      specific variation in time (which is in turn dependent on a slight stratum
      dependent variation in the constant c). It may be that the effects of a
      variation in the constant c on particles as they oscillate within lower strata
      of a 12 dimensional framework may explain quantum behavior peculiarities.
      Christina Anne Knight cknight29@cox.net

    • Guest

      Hi

      Michio Kaku, please excuse my English but I have some questions for you:

      What is God for us?
      God is the one who created the universe, and the one who rules it.

      With regard to science we know that there is only one force that allowed the existence of the universe: which is that of the Big Bang,
      and from which all the other forces that shape and rule our universe according to their laws such as gravity and electromagnetism derive….

      So if it is that force that governs the universe and created us, why can’t we call it God?

      In this way God doesn’t look like ourselves, but the nearest rapresentation of him is the unification formula of fisics that the the scientists are
      looking for, the formula that describes the force of the Big Bang!

      This force,and all the energy/matter hasn’t disappeared, but became the universe including ourselves.
      So we can say that we are part of God (part of that force), and because of our ability to think we can also consider ourselves: the mind of God.
      In that case when we study the universe, is actually God who discovers himself.

      In fact, as Aristotle said:
      God can only think of perfect things and since he is the only perfect thing: he thinks to himself, as we think of everything
      that surrounds us, which is God …

      The universe is not contained in a space, but it is the space of the universe that continuously expand like the gas that expands without limit in a room
      without any walls to stop it.

      So In a external reference we can say that the universe is stationary because it hasn’t a space where it can move, but in himself the space moves towards infinity,
      so God can be understood as the unmoved mover, which is again in agreement with Aristotle.

      But if we think of God as John in the Bible where: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.…

      And if we intend the word as the vibration of sound, and the creation (Big Bang) as the vibration of strings(the word of God), then we see that science and religion
      fit even at this point, and in many others …. What do you think?

    • Maxim Tofilat

      Hi

      Michio Kaku, please excuse my English but I have some questions for you:

      What is God for us?
      God is the one who created the universe, and the one who rules it.

      With
      regard to science we know that there is only one force that allowed the
      existence of the universe: which is that of the Big Bang,
      and from
      which all the other forces that shape and rule our universe according to
      their laws such as gravity and electromagnetism derive….

      So if it is that force that governs the universe and created us, why can’t we call it God?

      In
      this way God doesn’t look like ourselves, but the nearest
      rapresentation of him is the unification formula of fisics that the the
      scientists are
      looking for, the formula that describes the force of the Big Bang!

      This force,and all the energy/matter hasn’t disappeared, but became the universe including ourselves.
      So
      we can say that we are part of God (part of that force), and because of
      our ability to think we can also consider ourselves: the mind of God.
      In that case when we study the universe, is actually God who discovers himself.

      In fact, as Aristotle said:
      God can only think of perfect things and since he is the only perfect thing: he thinks to himself, as we think of everything
      that surrounds us, which is God …

      The
      universe is not contained in a space, but it is the space of the
      universe that continuously expand like the gas that expands without
      limit in a room
      without any walls to stop it.

      So In a external
      reference we can say that the universe is stationary because it hasn’t a
      space where it can move, but in himself the space moves towards
      infinity,
      so God can be understood as the unmoved mover, which is again in agreement with Aristotle.

      But
      if we think of God as John in the Bible where: In the beginning was the
      Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the
      beginning with God.…

      And if we intend the word as the vibration of
      sound, and the creation (Big Bang) as the vibration of strings(the word
      of God), then we see that science and religion
      fit even at this point, and in many others …. What do you think?

    • dvoorhees

      I took an astronomy class 20 years ago and remember something about an astronomer theorizing the universe could be explained/tied together by musical notes. Can anyone direct me to the astronomer? Thanks, Dan