BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Parallel Worlds

I've been listening to audio books on my iPod at work. It's a great way to pass the day and recently I listened to a really awesome book. Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku.

This book is non-fiction and it's about physics. Yes, I am a total geek. Computers, physics, only moderately functional in social situations. Sigh. Anyway, the book talks about physics, but the really cool part of physics--black holes, wormholes, time travel, multi-dimensional space, string theory, and M theory. My eyes light up whenever I hear M Theory--it's incredibly fascinating stuff.

The author is a physicist himself and the book is broken into three sections. As a listener, I thought of the book in two parts, though. One part dealt more on what had already happened. For example, Newton and his work with gravity or Einstein and his work with relativity. Then part two was more on theories, things that were still unproven and unknown. Ideas that physicists are hoping will either be proven or disproven by things like the Large Hadron Super Collider in Europe or LISA, a space probe set to be launched in a couple of years. I believe its mission is to measure gravity waves, but the book was long, so I could have remembered incorrectly.

Personally, I found the first half of the book fascinating. I was geeking out all over Twitter about how awesome it was. The second half was less compelling to me, but still interesting and I think it's because I was more into what was pretty confidently known versus what was still unproven theory.

If you've read my time travel short story, The Troll Bridge, you know that I used a large atom smasher to create a wormhole which sent my heroine forward in time and to another planet, Jarved Nine. This was all based on things I'd read earlier about M theory and the Hadron particle accelerator.

I can't even begin to tell you how tickled I was when the book mentioned the Einstein-Rosen Bridge. One of my favorite lines in my story was when the heroine thinks something like, "the Einstein-Rosen Bridge might close instantly, but her wormhole was the Troll Bridge, and it had been open for business." Okay, so I'm easily thrilled. What can I say?

Um, but I digressed. If you're looking for a book that explains theories of physics in a straightforward way that a layman can understand, I can recommend Parallel Worlds. When I was researching these principles before I wrote Troll Bridge, I had trouble wrapping my mind around all of it. Dr. Kaku spells things out in a way that is not only interesting, but makes it comprehensible to non-physicists.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up!