When Michio Kaku was eight years old, renowned scientist Albert Einstein died -- prompting a worldwide media blizzard of articles about Einstein's life and work. The papers mentioned that Einstein had been working on something called the Unified Field Theory, a theory that could reconcile gravity, the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. The young Michio Kaku searched at his local library for information regarding the Unified Field Theory, but came up empty-handed. From then on, Kaku made an extensive effort to learn all the physics and mathematics he possibly could.

Michio Kaku's ability and passion for physics resulted in his building an atom smasher in his parents' garage when he was 17! He ended up at Harvard, where he graduated from in 1968; he then went on to the University of California - Berkeley to earn his Ph.D. by 1972. He has now been a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York for over 25 years, as well as being a guest lecturer at many other schools.

I learned about Michio Kaku indirectly because of insomnia. The only interesting thing on the radio at 3 AM is Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM. Art Bell interviews numerous quirky characters, some of whom are probably clinically insane. There was something different about Michio Kaku, though...this guy sounded extremely rational and educated. He wasn't some UFO nut or pet psychic, but an actual scientist. Michio Kaku is very enthusiastic about his subject, and enjoys sharing it with anyone who will listen. Evidence of this is his appearance on over 600 radio programs around the United States. He works in that realm of physics which is magic until you learn the math; you might say that Kaku deals directly with the machine code of existence. He is partly responsible for the founding and popularization of superstring theory, whose primary axioms are that the fundamental building blocks of everything can be represented by small vibrating strings, and that the behavior of these strings can be fully extrapolated from a single equation. What is the equation? Nobody knows as of yet, but Michio Kaku and his colleagues are working tirelessly to find it.

Aside from being a physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku is something of an activist for safety. He believes that NASA, among other large organizations, is "engaged in scientific dishonesty". Dr. Kaku does not think that sufficient tests are being performed on potentially dangerous and environmentally harmful technologies; he spoke out against the Cassini probe launch, based on his conviction that the plutonium in the device was not necessarily well contained enough. He is convinced that the current standards for testing and safety at, for example, nuclear power plants, are inadequate to protect humans and the planet. Michio Kaku served in the US military during the Vietnam war, but now considers himself a promoter of peace; he believes that technology should be used for knowledge and exploration, not for destruction.

Michio Kaku has written nine books to date (which are listed below). His most famous book, Hyperspace, appeared in an episode of the television show Sliders. Kaku also appeared in the feature film Me and Isaac Newton, which chronicled some of the accomplishments of Kaku and several other scientists.


Books by Michio Kaku

Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension (1995)
Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century (1998)
Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe (1987)
Metal of Dishonor: How Depleted Uranium Penetrates Steel, Radiates People and Contaminates the Environment (1997)
Weapons In Space (2000)
Nuclear Power: Both Sides (1983)
Quantum Field Theory: Modern Introduction (1997)
Introduction to Superstrings and M-Theory (1999)
Strings, Conformal Fields, and M-Theory (2000)


References:

http://www.mkaku.org/about/
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.lovearth.org/mkaku.htm
http://www.sciencefriday.com/kids/sfkc20030117-2.html
Kaku, Michio and Thompson, Jennifer. Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe. New York: Doubleday 1987, 1995

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