Hooray! Finished my first non-fiction/science book of the year!
Soooooo, Hyperspace is about string theory, and how string theory predicts that there are 10 dimensions and all the cool stuff that we would be able to do if this was true and if we could “harness the power” of hyperspace AKA all the dimensions.
I went into this book kind of reserved – partly because it’s almost 20 years old – it was published in 1994. So you know, some of the science that Michio is discussing in the book is a little old, theories have changed a bit, technology has certainly changed a lot, etc. (Hey Michio Kaku, if you’re reading this you are awesome and you should consider writing a revised edition of this, kay?)
Because this is one of the first books I’ve read that really focuses super hard on string theory, I don’t know how exactly it has changed or evolved over the last 20 years, other than it’s still one of the leading theories for a Theory of Everything but hasn’t been confirmed as such because it can’t really be proven experimentally or mathematically, at least not yet. And while Michio didn’t convince me that string theory is “it”, I did learn some stuff. If you’re interested in physics or string theory, you should read this. It’s pretty easy to understand.
While I can’t comment on the rightness or wrongness of a lot of this book, I did enjoy it. I learned things, and it made me think. I like it when books make me exercise the muscles in my brainpan. Also, I’m pretty sure Michio is my favorite physicist. His enthusiasm for physics is so exciting, and I LOVE that he gets all nerdy about Star Trek and uses examples of physics in literary fiction to get his points across. Also, he joined the US Army during the Vietnam War and talked about how while he was learning to throw grenades and dodge machine gun bullets, he was working on physics-related equations and solutions in his head. DUDE IS AWESOME. (The Vietnam War ended before he was ever deployed though, so yay.)
This was a good book. He went into the history of different theories and mathematics a lot, which was interesting (although some of it I already knew, which makes me happy cause it means I’m actually retaining information from reading these books). I liked trying to envision other dimensions and trying to wrap my brain around it, however futile (our human brains literally cannot fathom the idea of more than 3 spatial dimensions). I really hope that we find out in my lifetime what exactly the Theory of Everything is in my lifetime. I don’t know if Michio is backing the right team or not, but he does of good job of getting you excited about the whole search for it, no matter which theory ends up being right.
Sarah Says: 3.5 stars
(Psssst. I’ve also read another book by Michio Kaku – Physics of the Future, if you want to check out that review. It was a really awesome book.)