Physics of the Impossible?

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Interested in finding out how close science fiction concepts such as these are to becoming a reality? If so, ‘Physics of the Impossible,’ by Michio Kaku is definitely worth a read, if you haven’t already done so!

In ‘Physics of The Impossible,’ this renowned theoretical physicist explores to what extent the technologies suggested in current science fiction – deemed as impossible today as television was at the end of the 19th century – might well become a reality in the future.

He uses the world of science fiction to explain the fundamentals of physics, as well as to define the limits of the laws of physics as currently known, through ranking the ‘impossible’ technologies by category based on when they might finally become possible; within the next century, millennia, or perhaps not at all…

For me, the most exciting revelation from reading this book was that telepathy and psychokinesis may one day be possible through advances in MRI, computers, superconductivity and nanotechnology. [See next post for more discussion about this.]

In my opinion, very few science fiction novels do this topic justice, and the concept of ‘mind reading’ as some kind of magical power has corrupted many fantasy and SciFi books, to the extent to which many people do not accredit this idea with any seriousness. A more realistic depiction of this eventuality would make a far more compelling and interesting read and might even encourage more people to invest in technologies such as that of the nano scale.

Review Quote:

 There are so many references to Star Trek and Star Wars scattered throughout this entertaining journey, that you sometimes wonder if physicists just spend all their time watching old sci-fi re-runs and trying to work out how to recreate the technologies included in them.

– The Independent

Science versus Literature: The Great Divide?

As an eager writer and scientist, I’ve regularly been frustrated by the lack of cohesion and understanding between the two fields of study. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the phrase ‘English is a pointless subject!’ from my fellow physicists, or ‘Ugh, why Physics!?’ from a peer English student. Certainly, I’ve been given many strange looks for taking both subjects together to A level.

In this blog I’d like to explore the links between Physics and Literature, and discuss how ideas first suggested in novels and plays have posed new questions to scientists, and have inspired inventions which have had a permanent impact on our society and changed the face of our planet.