Friday, January 18, 2013

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

Doubleday, ISBN 9780385530804, January 2011

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.

Book trailer

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