#562: Dr. Michio Kaku — Exploring Time Travel, the Beauty of Physics, Parallel Universes, the Mind of God, String Theory, Lessons from Einstein, and M

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Dr. Michio Kaku
(@michiokaku) is a professor of theoretical physics at The City College of New York, co-founder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Beyond Einstein, The Future of Humanity, The Future of the Mind, Hyperspace, Physics of the Future, Physics of the Impossible, and his latest, The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything.

He is the science correspondent for CBS This Morning, the host of the radio programs Science Fantastic and Exploration, and a host of several science TV specials for the BBC and the Discovery and Science Channels.

Please enjoy!


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What piqued Michio’s curiosity about science at an early age — and what did he build in his garage with his parents’ grudging permission? [05:08]

How did hydrogen bomb pioneer Edward Teller, the patron who paid Michio’s way through Harvard, react when he turned down his generous job offer to design hydrogen warheads in favor of probing the mysteries of The Big Bang? [10:20]

Knowing his California-born parents had been locked up by the United States government in an internment camp on the basis of their Japanese heritage during WWII, did Michio have any reservations about serving the country during the Vietnam War? [11:30]

The ingredients Michio feels are necessary for anyone to rise above any hardship. [12:53]

What sci-fi had an impact on young Michio’s curiosity and passion to explore the mysteries of science? [14:47]

Does Michio think Einstein underestimated philosophy’s potential for practical application? Are there any philosophies better suited than others for answering the universe’s big questions? Are there any questions that can’t be answered? [16:46]

What constitutes burden of proof when it comes to science? [25:56]

What is a parallel universe? [35:20]

Why does the rate at which time moves vary depending on where it’s observed, and what are the implications of this phenomenon? [37:04]

How does Michio think about consciousness? Is the term synonymous with self-awareness? [42:26]

When Einstein pondered what it would take to “read the mind of God,” what kind of God was he imagining? For that matter, how does Michio think about the concept of God? [53:22]

What is string theory, why is it controversial, and why are such controversies healthy for science? [58:50]

What would be the practical applications of a theory of everything proven? What questions could we finally answer? [1:04:37]

Does music play a part in how Michio contemplates physics? [1:09:52]

Michio’s challenge to our listeners. [1:13:07]

Why didn’t cosmologist George Gamow win the Nobel Prize for his work on proving the Big Bang theory? [1:13:36]

Is there a career cost for research scientists who work to make science more accessible to the non-academic masses? What is the cost to society if there aren’t scientists willing to take that risk? [1:16:58]

How are some scientists seemingly able to predict the future more accurately than others? What advancements does Michio foresee in the next couple of decades? [1:22:13]

For listeners unfamiliar with the body of Michio’s work, where does he recommend they begin? [1:29:17]

Michio’s favorite Einstein quote and other parting thoughts. [1:30:56]


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