'A majestic story' David Bodanis, Financial Times
From the international bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible and Physics of the Future
This is the story of a quest: to find a Theory of Everything. Einstein dedicated his life to seeking this elusive Holy Grail, a single, revolutionary 'god equation' which would tie all the forces in the universe together, yet never found it. Some of the greatest minds in physics took up the search, from Stephen Hawking to Brian Greene. None have yet succeeded.
In The God Equation, renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku takes the reader on a mind-bending ride through the twists and turns of this epic journey: a mystery that has fascinated him for most of his life. He guides us through the key debates in modern physics, from Newton's law of gravity via relativity and quantum mechanics to the latest developments in string theory. It is a tale of dazzling breakthroughs and crushing dead ends, illuminated by Kaku's clarity, storytelling flair and infectious enthusiasm.
The object of the quest is now within sight: we are closer than ever to achieving the most ambitious undertaking in the history of science. If successful, the Theory of Everything could simultaneously unlock the deepest mysteries of space and time, and fulfil that most ancient and basic of human desires - to understand the meaning of our lives.
CUNY physics professor Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Our Destiny in the Universe) shines light on a theory that could "unravel the deepest mysteries of space and time" in this riveting work of popular science. Kaku's focus is on string theory, which proposes that "the universe was not made of point particles but of tiny vibrating strings, with each note corresponding to a subatomic particle." The theory, the author writes, offers answers to questions about time travel, wormholes, and parallel universes. Kaku provides a history of string theory, which "emerged accidentally" after a chance rediscovery of an 18th-century mathematician's work in 1968, and breaks down the centuries-long quest for a definitive explanation of how all cosmic forces operate, including the discovery of atoms in ancient Greece, Newton's work that proved symmetry is "one of our most powerful tools in unifying all forces of nature," and Einstein's discovery of general relativity. Kaku lauds string theory for having "seized the imagination of the world's top scientists," but still gives fair credit to pushback against it: "The most glaring problem is that, for all the press extolling the beauty and complexity of this theory, we have no solid, testable evidence." Kaku's expertise at making mind-bending concepts comprehensible makes this a real intellectual eye-opener.