Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dr. Kaku on Big Thinkers Talks about String Theory

Michio Kaku is a rarity in physics, a man who not only mastered theoretical physics but who can communicate with the general public. This guy is not your typical physics professor, I mean he is like, normal?

A few years back Kaku appeared on a show on Tech TV called Big Thinkers. I'm not sure if it still airs, I got Tech TV several years back when I had Dish Network, but alas I switched to Comcast and don't get it anymore. Kaku talks about string theory in this 20 minute presentation broken up into four parts. Great viewing for those interested in physics!

Part 1: Michio Kaku lives for one goal: to find a single equation maybe one inch long which will summarize everything in the physical universe. This is the goal of a unified theory of physics: to "Read the Mind of God" as Kaku puts it. Kaku says physicists are the only scientists who can say the word "God" without blushing.

Part 2: Kaku describes how he feels the power of Newton's laws of motion while ice skating, and its relation to symmetry-a key idea in modern physics. Then he describes the problem in modern physics in that relativity and quantum theory are so different. The beauty of string theory is that unifies them into a single theoretical framework.

Part 3: Kaku describes the harmony of strings.

Part 4: Kaku says to test string theory rigorously, we have to recreate the big-bang, which is not possible. He also says nobody on earth is smart enough to solve the equations of string theory. But when someone finally comes along smart enough to solve the equations, our universe would appear as one of the solutions if string theory is correct.

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