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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2007
This book is mind blowing. Written on a level that makes it accessible to pretty much everybody it covers all aspects of cosmology and their implications regarding time travel, parallel worlds, string theory and black holes. It even covers some of the history behind the major scientists involved (Einstein, Gamow, Schrodinger, Hoyle etc) and includes anecdotes telling of the debates they had with each other concerning some of the major questions. It doesn't matter if you don't fully understand some of the ideas (Quantum theory, for example, is probably fully understood by nobody), there are plenty of other things to keep you interested and its all so well written that it really is close to being impossible to put down.
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on 14 July 2008
I love documentaries that start talking about the quantum world. Of course there is part of your mind that is shouting "this makes no sense" but instead I listen to the bit that says "I must know more". If you are turned off by phrases like M-theory or cosmological constant then this is obviously not the book for you.

If, like me, you love popular science and want to push things a little further without getting bogged down in mathematical formulae which mean NOTHING to me then this is the book for you. Kaku is a great guide through the physics of the very big like red dwarfs and black holes to the subatomic world of gluons and string theory. Whenever there's a danger of losing the reader he uses a simple analogy to help the information make sense. His style is light but serious and his ability to pack so much in without losing a layman like me is impressive.

This is a fabulous book about science for the casual adult reader which will get you to look at the world in a very different way. Enjoy the ride.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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on 16 February 2010
This is the third of Kaku's books that i've read, and is quite easily his best.

It is a book that confronts the biggest questions in cosmology and quantum theory head on, and addresses philosophical and theological implications in a sensible manner, but is nonetheless incredible for it. There is a richness of subjects here, all discussed in logically sequenced chapters, and the more you read, the more you discover.

Although this book is written for the intelligent layman, this is a popular book where Kaku, who is sometimes forced to hold back with interiewers in media appearances, 'cuts loose' with the depth of his understanding, and offers a personal take on the anthropic principle and Copernican principle, and the ultimate properties of this universe. The chapter on the development of Quantum Physics is as well-written and clear as any on the subject, and his anecdotes about other well-known scientists and their own journeys to their discoveries, as well as his own, are a welcome addition and flavour the largely cosmological enquiries with an historical and personal perspective, including his encounter with Richard Feynman after giving a talk on String Theory. This helps the book retain a human scale that helps appreciate the big ideas even more.
He also introduces Carl Sagan's counterpart to the Kardashev Scale, which is based on information rather than energy, but there is so much more, including a look at M-Theory and Branes, and even Richard Dawkins gets a brief mention.

The edition I have also has a glossary of terms at the back, and is the coup de grace for this very comprehensive, optimistic and wonderfully illustrative take on the cosmos.

A must-read for anyone who anyone even vaguely inquisitive about our universe.
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on 19 October 2009
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! Firstly, the writing is so easy to understand, i've been into physics for a while now, but some things still go over my head, this book is put across so clearly that i've managed to understand it all.
Secondly, each page or so is a different topic, and they all follow on well from the previous, i liked to read this book in little sections, as there is alot to take in. Kaku doesn't just talk about parallel worlds, infact he explains loads of different topics under the science heading (hence why i read them in small bits) It's definatly worth buying, i will be reading hyperspace next :)
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on 21 June 2006
An astonishingly thought-provoking read that seems to cover all the bases on quantum mechanics and M-theory, written in plain layman's English. The explanations satisfy where Hawking's Universe in a Nutshell confounded. Kaku doesn't shy away from the implications or the tough questions quantum mechanics and parallel universe theories hold. The last chapter in particular takes an interesting look at all sides of the question of a Creator, and Kaku gives his own personal viewpoint. The best science book I've read in ages.
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on 4 June 2007
Michio Kaku's "Parallel Worlds" is the best popular science non-fiction ever written. Its breakthrough theories reach out to the most naive reader with such a strength that whatever you've known about the Big Bang or religious essays on the beginning and the end of our world, suddenly becomes a tiny moment caught in the universe yet ever-evolving.

It has very logical structure on complex issues such as the essence of non-material dark energy that apparently consists the 73 percent of the energy in our universe, the bubble theories of the existence of parallel universes where the humanity can move to as our planet comes to an end due to the unavoidable universal freeze. Thus, he masterfully presents the idea of multiverses that co-exist in a string, subject to ongoing Big Bangs here and there. As he narrates "...entire universes continually sprout or "bud" off other universes. If true, it would unify two of the great religious mythologies, Genesis and Nirvana. Genesis would take place continually within the fabric of timeless Nirvana".

(One has another appreciation for Michio Kaku for his bringing up in a Buddhist family who nevertheless sent him off to a Catholic Sunday School had made him one of the most read scientists.)

Decoding Einstein's and Darwin's at their time distant theories on reading "the God's Mind" and the "end of humanity", Michio Kaku unveils the latest developments in the scientific world on the humanity's beginning and future, claiming that even a string of Big Bangs and multiverses would still need an ultimate creator/composer...

This book is a definite buy on the most indefinite questions we have.
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on 6 July 2008
Parallel Worlds is a highly readable account of some of the most advanced and exciting aspects of cosmology and its related disciplines today. Covering everything from Einsteinian relativity, through quantum mechanics and on to the most-favoured current "theories of everything" - string theory and its new variant M-theory - Kaku guides his readers through a potted history of the universe, from its fiery beginning to its cold dark end ... and possibly beyond.

The journey is an exciting one, full of sound and fury - from the pattering of quasars and cosmic background radiation to the roar of supernovae - signifying plenty.

There are one or two editing mishaps - "googol" becomes "google", Jodrell Bank becomes "Jordell Bank", "Brownian motion" becomes "Browning motion" (leading me to wonder what would have happened if Terrence Rattigan had written "The Brownian Version" - in which a retired schoolteacher must confront his failure as a continuous-time stochastic process relating to the movement of a particle in a gas or liquid) - and someone needs to explain to the prof that "enormity" is not the same as "enormousness" but, these very petty cavils aside, this is an entertaining and informative guide to the nature of our universe and the universes that may exist alongside it.
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on 13 February 2009
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is well written and well explained. OK there are some scientific equations in the book that unless you are into physics you may find a wee bit difficult to understand but overall the information and how the universe is perceived by scientists is first class. To think there could be a parallel universe as close as 1mm from us at all times is quite an awesome thought. Certainly would recommend this book to anyone with or without physics experience as I do think it is well enough written for all to understand.
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on 13 June 2009
This book offers an update on cosmology as well as a general background history for lay people.It covers all the latest theories and then postulates on the future of our universe and how we could escape when it ends.
The book was understandable to my relatively small unscientific brain and contained many astounding facts and ideas that kept it rolling along at a good pace.
Also on the plus side is the note and glossary section along with a fantastic cover.
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on 6 November 2009
An excellent book on popular science. Kaku delves into a fascinating world of theoretical physics that leaves your imagination run wide! This is the world of the truly bizarre and wondrous. He provides such a good and solid introduction on the major aspects of the string theory and the almighty M-theory was well as the good 'ol general relativity without the use of any (much) mathematics. The aim here is to be as non-technical as possible, and in this he succeeds.

This is the rarest of talent, in order to condense the complex into its simplest and most accessible form. So much so that when I finished this book, I am able to form my own opinions on big questions such as the birth of our universe, the invisible world around me and many other things. You too should be well informed by the end to make your choice on which side to take.

I would recommend this to anyone who are interested in this topic. And why shouldn't you be? It is about our ultimate beginning and ultimate end.
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