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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilerating look into the future!
This was a really interesting read. I have previously read Kaku's 'Parallel Worlds' and thoroughly enjoyed it and therefore thought I might give this book a go. I was not disappointed, I found it very intriguing and difficult to put down until I had finished and continue to flick through it now to re-read my favourite sections. Kaku explains the path of technology and...
Published on 12 May 2011 by El Stevo

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bold thinking poorly presented
`Physics of the Future' offers a grand tour of the future of science: through computing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, medicine, energy, space flight, the economy and politics. Technology is one of the strongest drivers of change in human society and economy, so it's great to have a sneak preview of what's around the corner.

Weighing in at 360 pages...
Published on 12 July 2011 by Matthew Pearce


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilerating look into the future!, 12 May 2011
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This was a really interesting read. I have previously read Kaku's 'Parallel Worlds' and thoroughly enjoyed it and therefore thought I might give this book a go. I was not disappointed, I found it very intriguing and difficult to put down until I had finished and continue to flick through it now to re-read my favourite sections. Kaku explains the path of technology and discusses with prominent scientists what is currently being explored in the world of medicine, robotics, computers and also the world of quantum physics and what this will mean in regards to our daily lives in the future. He also talks about the future of space travel (including things such as the possibility of a space elevator) the future of energy, wealth, nanotechnology, virtual worlds, holograms, internet contact lenses and universal translators plus many other ideas. It really is fascinating to find out how many of these ideas are already being explored and made into prototypes as Kaku discovers on visits to places such as Silicon Valley, CERN, Tokyo, plus many more laboratories and universities all over the world, speaking with people working on the cutting edge of scientific discovery. Kaku also shows a sense of humour, frequently mentioning how many of these ideas appear in things we will have seen or heard of in Sci Fi films and shows such as Star Trek, Star Wars, iRobot and even the Wizard of Oz. Kaku also explains a scale used to measure the advancement of civilizations which I found extremely interesting and have read about in another of his books but which was expanded upon further here. Overall this is an absorbing and evocative read that I would recommend.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bold thinking poorly presented, 12 July 2011
`Physics of the Future' offers a grand tour of the future of science: through computing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, medicine, energy, space flight, the economy and politics. Technology is one of the strongest drivers of change in human society and economy, so it's great to have a sneak preview of what's around the corner.

Weighing in at 360 pages the book's not deep, but it doesn't need to be. Its purpose is to expose the reader to bright new possibilities: I'd never thought about my clothes calling an ambulance if they detected blood. The author's excitement for science is infectious. If I had a teenage sibling, they'd be getting a copy.

The writing, however, is poor. There is significant repetition. Paragraphs have clearly been copy `n' pasted around in the book. This gives the feeling it was dashed off to meet a publisher's deadline. The book's excess of quotations suggests the influence of ghost researchers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read with a positive outlook. If you're familiar with Kaku then not much new, 10 May 2012
This review is from: Physics of the Future: The Inventions That Will Transform Our Lives (Paperback)
This book is a great read for anyone who is not familiar with Kaku's views and the various chapters on technologies such as nanotech, biotech and robotics/cybernetics.

Having read some of Kaku's previous books there is some (or a lot depending on the chapter you are reading) repetition from these works but some of the other insights into the fields that aren't directly related to his own (all things quantum), are interesting and presented in a readable way.

The book should be seen as an overview of the various things happening now and what might develop from these in the future (The book is only 350+ pages long - so don't expect depth, as each area could easily fill a comparable book in size).

Like pointed out in another review I think Kaku is holding back a bit in this book (perceived target audience?!?), as there are areas where you can sense Kaku's interest and desire to go into more detail, before all of a sudden the section finishes. But hey, thats what the notes at the end of the book are for so that you can read related books about the areas that interest you.

What comes out at the end is Kaku's optimisim about humanity and the trends/techs that will get us there. Indeed what he sees as the trend is many peoples nightmare (increasing globalism - a global approach to the social, political and economic spheres of life).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not inspiring, 22 July 2012
By 
F Henwood "The bookworm that turned" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics of the Future: The Inventions That Will Transform Our Lives (Paperback)
Just about any invention is possible, provided it does not violate the laws of physics. What are these laws? The first force is gravity, which holds us down to the ground and stops the sun exploding and the planets of the solar system flying apart. The second is electromagnetism that allows us to light up our cities and for you to read this review on a computer. The third and fourth are strong and weak nuclear forces that literally hold the atoms and ourselves together. This actually allows us to do rather a lot, as Kaku shows in this book.

The chapters are divided into examining the future of the computer, artificial intelligence, medicine, nanotechnology, energy, space travel and wealth. Each chapter is scoped to anticipate developments in the near future (i.e. to 2030), the intermediate (2030 to 2070) and the far future (2070 to 2100). By the end of the century he envisages unlimited information, accessed without having to log on to a computer, a plethora of robots undertaking all manner of tasks, automatic cars that can float on superconductors, fusion power, microscopic robots that can kill cancer. Even the ageing process may be slowed or conquered altogether. Unlike Star Trek though, humanity will remain Earth bound. Tiny robot probes may be sent to survey the local region of our galaxy instead.

Some innovations are beginning to take shape now. Human organs have been grown in a laboratory. After many false starts and high profile hoaxes, prototype fusion reactors have been developed. The book concludes with a day in the life survey of an inhabitant of New York on 1 Jan 2100. He is 71 years old but looks 30. He has had new organs grown from scratch after suffering a serious skiing accident and drives automatic cars that levitate above the ground and takes a trip up a space elevator.

If this all sounds too fantastical, and sounds like an example of moon-eyed technology worship, then rest assured. Kaku is aware that science is a double-edged sword. The ethical and social implications of various developments are considered. He is sceptical for instance that we can ever build a robot that is fully conscious. What even the most sophisticated report lacks is an ability to learn. In this respect, a cockroach is smarter than any robot. But robots can and will be developed to enable them to do highly complex, specialized tasks, in the home and in the workplace. However, the further into the future Kaku peers, the more speculative his predictions become.

But on what basis does he make such predictions anyway? From talking to over 300 experts in their various fields. So although this book is speculation, it is well-informed and interesting speculation.

The drawback in that inevitably in a book covering so many fields is that the coverage of the different topics can be superficial. This is no surprise. Given that the author spoke to over 300 experts, he had to make choices to compress his material down to manageable dimensions and make the content comprehensible to a lay audience, too. Neither is he an accomplished stylist on scale of Carl Sagan. Having said that, I think that he still does an admirable job of outlining the sorts of innovations we can expect to see over the next decades in language intelligible to those who do not have a background in science.

This is not an inspirational book but it is an interesting one. For those of you who are curious as to what the future might hold (who isn't?) then the book is worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Physics of the Future, 1 May 2012
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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Michio Kaku is the lay reader's dream - an accomplished scientist who communicates intricate concepts in a way anyone can comprehend. In his book, Kaku offers a deeply researched study of the technologies that will create society's future. He tackles everything from computer screens on contact lenses to magnetic levitation, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. To keep his treatise reader-friendly, he brings in examples from Greek mythology, Star Trek and the Terminator movies. At times Kaku seems a bit too optimistic about the gee-whiz direction of the world, which he believes eventually will be free of cancer, car crashes and the ravages of aging. But he does temper some of his predictions: He points out the limits of stem cells and artificial intelligence, and he notes the dangers of global warming. getAbstract recommends his analysis to readers seeking an erudite but easy-to-digest survey of the innovations shaping the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The psychology of the future, 10 Jun 2011
This is a great book and whilst it contains many 'known' thoughts and commentaries - they are pulled together in a clear, interesting and logical way. I read it from the perspective of a psychologist as Michio Kaku's observations on technological advances have so many implications for the psychology of the human race. Every chapter gives food for thought and identifies real challenges to us as a species. Fascinating stuff and now we need to start addressing some of these issues and coming up with some solutions to challenges.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far from his best!, 19 Aug 2012
By 
E. Neumann (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics of the Future: The Inventions That Will Transform Our Lives (Paperback)
If you have never read Kaku before you'll probably find this book quite interesting (at least parts of it), however, personally I have two major criticisms:
1) Regarding the physical science aspect, there is little he has not published before and which is presented far better in e.g. "Physics of the Impossible".
2) Where the book really loses the plot is when predictions of advancements in physics are set in a context of economic and social theories that are over-simplistic as well as naively optimistic.
Overall, I was left with the feeling that this was conceived because it was time to publishing another book, rather than waiting a bit longer for something genuinely different to say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Wait For The Future!, 29 July 2013
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Michio Kaku gives a fascinating insight to the advances currently being made in science and technology, and ponders where that may lead us in the near and far future. This is not merely speculation, but a realistic estimate made by one of the worlds most respected physicist, and countless other figures that lead their respective scientific fields. Well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrillingly positive peek into the future, 10 July 2013
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This review is from: Physics of the Future: The Inventions That Will Transform Our Lives (Paperback)
In recent years I've noticed that in order to depress yourself, find out what politicians and bureaucrats are working on. If you want hope and cheer yourself up, find out what scientists are working on. This book is the best cure for cynicism and apathy that I've seen. Michio Kaku writes in exhilarating manner about a brighter future where the word tumor has vanished from vocabulary and where transportation is faster, safer with negligible burden to environment.

I truly recommend this book to anyone who is excited to find out what the future holds. For those who look to the future in despair, I recommend this book even more. It's easy to read and don't require native-speaker level English to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best science books ever, 26 Jun 2013
This review is from: Physics of the Future: The Inventions That Will Transform Our Lives (Paperback)
Every single page in this fascinating book is packed with breath-taking revelations about future technology, all firmly grounded in what is being done today, and where it is going. As a fiction writer who reads science books to harvest facts in which to bed my stories, I found this to be one of the most helpful books ever. Its strength is the sheer breadth of material gathered from many scientists. To his credit, the author doesn't opt for the lazy editor's method of simply copying and pasting chunks from other people's research, rather he explains it in his own words, clearly, concisely and most importantly, in ways that a lay-person can understand, a rare skill among scientists. Some of his suppositions about the future are obviously open to challenge, and I think he probably under-estimates people's reluctance to change and to adopt new technology. For example, I think his suggestion that people will wear contact lenses to access the internet, and that computers as we know them will become redundant may certainly apply to a few people in developed countries, but not to the population at large for a very long time, if at all. Not many of us will wear clothes smart enough to call an ambulance when we have accidents, or have replicators in our homes which can manufacture household items from raw materials. But I could be wrong, and he might be right. Despite those reservations, this remains in my top five of all-time science books, and I cannot recommend it too highly.
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