Physics of the Impossible

  • February 7, 2010 · 1:30 PM
  • Miguel's place

In his book "
Physics of the Impossible", Prof. Michio Kaku qualifies Time Travel as a class II impossibility, together with Faster than Light and Parallel Universes. In our next meeting we will discuss Prof. Kaku's approach and classification of "impossibilities", and whether we agree that Time Travel is correctly classified as a class II impossibility. In his talk of 6/27/2009 Prof. Koshnin argued that time travel is actually a class III impossibility, on the other hand, Prof. Mallett, in his attempts to actually build a mini-time travel machine, seems to consider it class I. Who is right? For our next meeting I suggest that we discuss Michio Kaku's "
Physics of the Impossible" in a
book club fashion - i.e., get and read a copy of the book and be ready to discuss it. FYI these are the three classes of impossibilities according to Prof. Kaku: -
Class I Impossibilities: Technologies that are impossible today but that do not violate the known laws of physics. The may be possible in this century, or perhaps the next, in modified form. They include teleportation, antimatter engines, certain forms of telepathy, psychokinesis, and invisibility. -
Class II Impossibilities: Technologies that sit at the very edge of our understanding of the physical world. If they are possible at all, they may be realized on a scale of millennia to millions of years in the future. They include time machines, the possibility of hyperspace travel, and travel through wormholes. -
Class III Impossibilities: Technologies that violate the known laws of physics. If they turn out to be possible, they would represent a fundamental shift in our understanding of physics. Kaku's includes in his book only two class III impossibilities: Perpetual Motion Machines, and Precognition. The location for this meeting is my apartment in Evanston, address to be mailed to those who are planning to attend. Plenty of street parking. Given space limitations I have set a 12 people limit for this meeting. Hope to see you there! - Miguel

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  • Miguel A

    Great conversation about the limits of the possible in various areas of physics such as time travel, artificial intelligence, etc.

    February 8, 2010

  • Daniel H.

    I am leaving for China to be with my wife on the 7th. If anyone figures out how to send me back to the year 1993, so I can meet my wife when she was 20 I would appreciate it very much.

    February 6, 2010

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