Teleportation, time machines, force fields, and interstellar space ships—the stuff of science fiction or potentially attainable future technologies? Inspired by the fantastic worlds of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Back to the Future , renowned theoretical physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku takes an informed, serious, and often surprising look at what our current understanding of the universe's physical laws may permit in the near and distant future.Entertaining, informative, and imaginative, Physics of the Impossible probes the very limits of human ingenuity and scientific possibility.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Physics of the Impossible|
|Release Date: 03-11-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Physics of the Impossible
1: FORCE FIELDS
I. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
II. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
III. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
-ARTHUR C. CLARKE'S THREE LAWS
In countless Star Trek episodes this is the first order that Captain Kirk barks out to the crew, raising the force fields to protect the starship Enterprise against enemy fire.
So vital are force fields in Star Trek that the tide of the battle can be measured by how the force field is holding up. Whenever power is drained from the force fields, the Enterprise suffers more and more damaging blows to its hull, until finally surrender is inevitable.
So what is a force field? In science fiction it's deceptively simple: a thin, invisible yet impenetrable barrier able to deflect lasers and rockets alike. At first glance a force field looks so easy that its creation as a battlefield shield seems imminent. One expects that any day some enterprising inventor will announce the discovery of a defensive force field. But the truth is far more complicated.
In the same way that Edison's lightbulb revolutionized modern civilization, a force field could profoundly affect every aspect of our lives. The military could use force fields to become invulnerable, creating an impenetrable shield against enemy missiles and bullets. Bridges, superhighways, and roads could in theory be built by sim