Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Champ Stops By, a Tribute to Two Great Guys, and The Physics of the Impossible,

Greetings, reader guys, we had a visit Monday from the awesome AXEL SIMONE, first-place winner of our March Madness Slam Dunk contest. He picked up his prizes (a gift bag of Charlotte Bobcats stuff, including a miniball signed by Gerald Wallace), as well as a book bag and a few free books.
Congratulations, AXEL! Keep writing to us!
Besdies picking up his prizes, AXEL delivered a fond farewell to two great guys:
video

Yep, we both are going to miss you both!
Well, we are all going to be sad, but, for today, let's carry on like the MANLY MEN we are!
We have a review from Laurence of a very interesting-sounding book:

Force fields, time travel, and perpetual motion machines: a few of the many “impossibilities” explored in this thoughtful book by Michio Kaku. Michio Kaku is a prominent City college of New York physics professor and author of Physics of the Impossible. This thought provoking, inspiring book explains the so-called “impossibilities” of the modern world by combining the realities of the world we live in with the material found in sci-fi movies.
How can you incinerate a planet? By pointing a giant gamma ray burst in its direction (Of course!). What are two ways to travel faster than light? By stretching space or ripping space. Was Albert Einstein a failure? Surprisingly, yes. Do tachyons travel faster when they lose energy? Yes. These are also some of the odd questions answered in this book. Nearly all impossibilities in this book violate common sense such as objects being two places at the same time and traveling faster when losing energy.
You probably wouldn’t think that the “A fool and his money are easily parted” and “A sucker is born every minute” has anything to do with physics. But Michio Kaku certainly disagrees and ties in famous phrases to spice up the story. Also, he includes words that other famous physicists said such as Stephen Hawking’s famous quote “Time travel may be possible, but it is not practical”
that made headlines in London newspapers.
Also, he sounds a historian because he not only describes the physics behind it all. He put in tremendous effort into knowing the history behind the “impossibilities” and putting into the book all (or almost all) of the important dates and events. An example of some might be Richard Feynman winning the Nobel Prize in 1965, finding the first extra solar planet in 1994, and that the first perpetually running clock was developed in the 1760s by John Cox.
Moreover, Michio Kaku groups the “impossibilities” into three classes of “impossibilities”, a class one “impossibility” being impossible today but do not violate the known laws of physics that could be possible in this century or the next in modified form. Class two “impossibilities” being on the very edge of our understanding that could be possible on a scale of millennia to millions of years. And finally class three “impossibilities” which violate the known laws of physics. He writes with a fundamental understanding of what impossible means; which is not unable to occur but is not possible for our primitive civilization.
Lastly, Michio Kaku was inspired to be a physicist when he was young by watching Star Trek and other sci-fi TV shows and makes reference to that in the book and so relating physics to his lifelong dream: to be a physicist. Michio Kaku’s writing accepts all ideas from all different perspectives (like those from Star Trek). Once he gets into the ideas, he just doesn’t say this is a horrible idea; he debates upon them, perplexing, and wondering whether or not they are truly impossible.

That is all I am going to tell you, now to truly find out how amazing this book is for yourself, you have to read it

Thanks, Luarnece! This really does sound fascinating. Could all this sci-fi stuff be possible? And if it is, would it be worth it? Great questions! You've got me interested in this book. What about you reader guys in blogville? There are plenty of copies in the library system. Go check them out!
Carl

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