Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku
This book is from my 2006 book list. I’m posting it now because I refer to it in my review of Kaku’s The Future of the Mind.
This book is an attempt to put some really complicated physics into layman’s terms. The book covers the history of scientific thought and discovery as it relates to the four dimensions we live in (three spatial, one temporal) as well as the other six that some physicists believe complete our universe. What was amazing to me was that although the title sounds like the stuff of sci-fi, the topic actually encapsulates all physical sciences, from chemistry to astronomy. This is because the theory of ten dimensions is a result of the quest to find one theory that explains all forces in the known universe (other theories, such as Einstein’s theory of relativity, explain certain forces but break down for others). Although I felt in over my head at a couple points, the author does a good job of simplifying everything and explaining the math without using much math. The book is full of helpful and entertaining diagrams (my favorite is the one of Einstein staring wide-eyed through a wormhole at a Tyrannosaurus Rex). And although the book wanders off topic from time to time (like the tangent on how the universe will end and how the human race might carry on after our sun burns out), even these digressions are fascinating, if not completely relevant. I’d recommend this book to anyone whose imagination has ever been captured by the thought of time travel or parallel universes, or just anyone who wonders what the heck E=mc2 means.