From Publishers WeeklyKaku (Physics of the Impossible), a professor of physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, gathers ideas from more than 300 experts, scientists, and researchers at the cutting edge of their fields, to offer a glimpse of what the next 100 years may bring. The predictions all conform to certain ground rules (e.g., «Prototypes of all technologies mentioned… already exist»), and some seem obvious (computer chips will continue to get faster and smaller). Others seem less far-fetched than they might have a decade ago: for instance, space tourism will be popular, especially once a permanent base is established on the moon. Other predictions may come true—downloading the Internet right into a pair of contact lenses—but whether they’re desirable is another matter. Some of the predictions are familiar but still startling: robots will develop emotions by mid-century, and we will start merging mind and body with them. Despite the familiarity of many of the predictions to readers of popular science and science fiction, Kaku’s book should capture the imagination of everyday readers. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
FromFollowing in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci and Jules Verne, Kaku, author of a handful of books about science, looks into the not-so-distant future and envisions what the world will look like. It should be an exciting place, with driverless cars, Internet glasses, universal translators, robot surgeons, the resurrection of extinct life forms, designer children, space tourism, a manned mission to Mars, none of which turn out to be as science-fictiony as they sound. In fact, the most exciting thing about the book is the fact that most of the developments Kaku discusses can be directly extrapolated from existing technologies. Robot surgeons and driverless cars, for example, already exist in rudimentary forms. Kaku, a physics professor and one of the originators of the string field theory (an offshoot of the more general string theory), draws on current research to show how, in a very real sense, our future has already been written. The book�s lively, user-friendly style should appeal equally to fans of science fiction and popular science. —David Pitt