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Given the glaring mistakes people have made in underestimating the future, how can we begin to provide a firmer scientific basis to our predictions? We have a great advantage that Verne and Leonardo da Vinci did not have: a solid understanding of the laws of nature. Predictions will always be flawed, but one way to make them as authoritative as possible is to grasp the four fundamental forces in nature that drive the entire universe.
Each time one of them was understood and described, it changed human history. The first force to be explained was the force of gravity.
Table of Contents for: Physics of the future : how science will
Isaac Newton gave us a mechanics that could explain that objects moved via forces, rather than mystical spirits and metaphysics. This helped to pave the way for the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of steam power, especially the locomotive. The second force to be understood was the electromagnetic force, which lights up our cities and powers our appliances.
When Thomas Edison, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and others helped to explain electricity and magnetism, this unleashed the electronic revolution that has created a bounty of scientific wonders. The third and fourth forces to be understood were the two nuclear forces: the weak and strong forces.
This revealed the secret behind the stars. Not only did this unleash the awesome power of atomic weapons, it also held out the promise that one day we would be able to harness this power on the earth. Today, we have a fairly good grasp of these four forces.
And the other three forces are described through the quantum theory, which allows us to decode the secrets of the subatomic world. The quantum theory, in turn, has given us the transistor, the laser, and the digital revolution that is the driving force behind modern society. Similarly, scientists were able to use the quantum theory to unlock the secret of the DNA molecule. The blinding speed of the biotechnological revolution is a direct result of computer technology, since DNA sequencing is all done by machines, robots, and computers.
As a consequence, we are better able to see the direction that science and technology will take in the coming century. There will always be totally unexpected, novel surprises that leave us speechless, but the foundation of modern physics, chemistry, and biology has largely been laid, and we do not expect any major revision of this basic knowledge, at least in the foreseeable future. As a result, the predictions we make in this book are the product not of wild speculation but are reasoned estimates of when the prototype technologies of today will finally reach maturity.
In conclusion, there are several reasons to believe that we can view the outlines of the world of 1. This book is based on interviews with more than top scientists, those in the forefront of discovery. Every scientific development mentioned in this book is consistent with the known laws of physics. The four forces and the fundamental laws of nature are largely known; we do not expect any major new changes in these laws. Prototypes of all technologies mentioned in this book already exist.
For countless eons we were passive observers of the dance of nature. We only gazed in wonder and fear at comets, lightning bolts, volcanic eruptions, and plagues, assuming that they were beyond our comprehension.
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To the ancients, the forces of nature were an eternal mystery to be feared and worshipped, so they created the gods of mythology to make sense of the world around them. The ancients hoped that by praying to these gods they would show mercy and grant them their dearest wishes. Today, we have become choreographers of the dance of nature, able to tweak the laws of nature here and there. But by , we will make the transition to being masters of nature. With the wizardry of science, we could show them jet planes that can soar in the clouds, rockets that can explore the moon and planets, MRI scanners that can peer inside the living body, and cell phones that can put us in touch with anyone on the planet.
If we showed them laptop computers that can send moving images and messages instantly across the continents, they would view this as sorcery. But this is just the beginning. Science is not static. Science is exploding exponentially all around us. If you count the number of scientific articles being published, you will find that the sheer volume of science doubles every decade or so.
Innovation and discovery are changing the entire economic, political, and social landscape, overturning all the old cherished beliefs and prejudices. Now dare to imagine the world in the year By , our destiny is to become like the gods we once worshipped and feared. But our tools will not be magic wands and potions but the science of computers, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and most of all, the quantum theory, which is the foundation of the previous technologies. By , like the gods of mythology, we will be able to manipulate objects with the power of our minds.
Computers, silently reading our thoughts, will be able to carry out our wishes. We will be able to move objects by thought alone, a telekinetic power usually reserved only for the gods. With the power of biotechnology, we will create perfect bodies and extend our life spans. We will also be able to create life--forms that have never walked the surface of the earth. With the power of nanotechnology, we will be able to take an object and turn it into something else, to create something seemingly almost out of nothing. We will ride not in fiery chariots but in sleek vehicles that will soar by themselves with almost no fuel, floating effortlessly in the air.
With our engines, we will be able to harness the limitless energy of the stars. We will also be on the threshold of sending star ships to explore those nearby.
Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku: review - Telegraph
Although this godlike power seems unimaginably advanced, the seeds of all these technologies are being planted even as we speak. It is modern science, not chanting and incantations, that will give us this power. I am a quantum physicist. Every day, I grapple with the equations that govern the subatomic particles out of which the universe is created. The world I live in is the universe of eleven-dimensional hyperspace, black holes, and gateways to the multiverse.
Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku: review
But the equations of the quantum theory, used to describe exploding stars and the big bang, can also be used to decipher the outlines of our future. But where is all this technological change leading? Where is the final destination in this long voyage into science and technology? The culmination of all these upheavals is the formation of a planetary civilization, what physicists call a Type I civilization. This transition is perhaps the greatest transition in history, marking a sharp departure from all civilizations of the past. Every headline that dominates the news reflects, in some way, the birth pangs of this planetary civilization.
Commerce, trade, culture, language, entertainment, leisure activities, and even war are all being revolutionized by the emergence of this planetary civilization. Calculating the energy output of the planet, we can estimate that we will attain Type I status within years. Actually, the opposite has occurred. A glance at any office shows you that the amount of paper is actually greater than ever. In fact, the cities themselves would largely empty out, becoming ghost towns, as people worked in their homes rather than their offices.
Shopping malls would go bankrupt. Universities would close for lack of interest. This was a very expensive fiasco. And finally, it was thought that the demise of traditional media and entertainment was imminent.
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Some futurists claimed that the Internet was the juggernaut that would swallow live theater, the movies, radio, and TV, all of which would soon be seen only in museums. Actually, the reverse has happened. Traffic jams are worse than ever—a permanent feature of urban life. People flock to foreign sites in record numbers, making tourism one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. Shoppers flood the stores, in spite of economic hard times. Instead of proliferating cyberclassrooms, universities are still registering record numbers of students. To be sure, there are more people deciding to work from their homes or teleconference with their coworkers, but cities have not emptied at all.
lor24.com.ua/themes/dickinson/10301-intim-znakomstva-v.php Instead, they have morphed into sprawling megacities. Today, it is easy to carry on video conversations on the Internet, but most people tend to be reluctant to be filmed, preferring face--to--face meetings. And of course, the Internet has changed the entire media landscape, as media giants puzzle over how to earn revenue on the Internet. But it is not even close to wiping out TV, radio, and live theater.
The lights of Broadway still glow as brightly as before. Genetic and fossil evidence indicates that modern humans, who looked just like us, emerged from Africa more than , years ago, but we see no evidence that our brains and personalities have changed much since then. If you took someone from that period, he would be anatomically identical to us: if you gave him a bath and a shave, put him in a three--piece suit, and then placed him on Wall Street, he would be physically indistinguishable from everyone else.
So our wants, dreams, personalities, and desires have probably not changed much in , years. We probably still think like our caveman ancestors.