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Once confined to fantasy and science fiction, time travel is now simply an engineering problem.

MICHIO KAKU, Wired Magazine, Aug. 2003

It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy -- and that's a big "if" -- then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein's equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.

MICHIO KAKU, Scientific American, Nov. 24, 2003

Instead of being overwhelmed by the universe, I think that perhaps one of the deepest experiences a scientist can have, almost approaching a religious awakening, is to realize that we are children of the stars, and that our minds are capable of understanding the universal laws that they obey. The atoms within our bodies were forged on the anvil of nucleo-synthesis within an exploding star aeons before the birth of the solar system. Our atoms are older than the mountains. We are literally made of star dust. Now these atoms, in turn, have coalesced into intelligent beings capable of understanding the universal laws governing that event.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace

What would happen if history could be rewritten as casually as erasing a blackboard? Our past would be like the shifting sands at the seashore, constantly blown this way or that by the slightest breeze. History would be constantly changing every time someone spun the dial of a time machine and blundered his or her way into the past. History, as we know it, would be impossible. It would cease to exist.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace

Scientific revolutions, almost by definition, defy common sense.

MICHIO KAKU, preface, Hyperspace

Although humans have existed on this planet for perhaps 2 million years, the rapid climb to modern civilization within the last 200 years was possible due to the fact that the growth of scientific knowledge is exponential; that is, its rate of expansion is proportional to how much is already known. The more we know, the faster we can know more. For example, we have amassed more knowledge since World War II than all the knowledge amassed in our 2-million-year evolution on this planet. In fact, the amount of knowledge that our scientists gain doubles approximately every 10 to 20 years.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace

Reality has always proved to be much more sophisticated and subtle than any preconceived philosophy.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace

Previously, Newton considered time to be moving like a straight arrow which unerringly flies forward toward its target. Nothing could deflect or change the course of this arrow once it was shot. Einstein, however, showed that time was more like a mighty river, moving forward but often meandering through twisting valleys and plains. The presence of matter or energy might momentarily shift the direction of the river, but overall the river's course was smooth: It never abruptly ended or jerked backward. However, Gödel showed that the river of time could be smoothly bent backward into a circle. Rivers, after all, have eddy currents and whirlpools. In the main, a river may flow forward, but at the edges there are always side pools where water flows in a circular motion.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace

First, no one is going to accidentally build a robot that wants to rule the world.... Creating a robot that can suddenly take over is like someone accidentally building a 747 jetliner. Plus, there will be plenty of time to stop this from happening. Before someone builds a "super-bad robot," someone has to build a "mildly bad robot," and before that a "not-so-bad robot."

MICHIO KAKU, The Future of the Mind

One faction of the nuclear war-fighters is willing to embrace the enormous uncertainties in a first strike and the chilling concept of "acceptable loss" because they feel that nuclear war is, in some sense, an inevitability. If we are in a pre-war situation, then the enormous risks entailed by a first strike suddenly become secondary.

MICHIO KAKU & DANIEL AXELROD, introduction, To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon's Secret War Plans

Like music or art, mathematical equations can have a natural progression and logic that can evoke rare passions in a scientist. Although the lay public considers mathematical equations to be rather opaque, to a scientist an equation is very much like a movement in a larger symphony. Simplicity. Elegance. These are the qualities that have inspired some of the greatest artists to create their masterpieces, and they are precisely the same qualities that motivate scientists to search for the laws of nature. LIke a work of art or a haunting poem, equations have a beauty and rhythm all their own.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace


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