http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg18624957.300In 1968, Michio Kaku graduated first in his class from Harvard. His took a PhD at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, and then lectured at Princeton University. He is now a professor oftheoretical physics at City University of New York, and has been visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. He co-founded string field theory, a branch of string theory, which is the leading contender in the quest for a theory of everything. His book Hyperspace was a global bestseller, his latest is Parallel Worlds (Allen Lane/Doubleday, 2005)
MY FAVOURITE Einstein quote, and a guiding principle behind my work, is that if a physical theory cannot be explained to a child, it's probably worthless. In other words, Einstein thought in terms of graphic, physical pictures that even children could grasp.
Einstein recalled that as a child he read "with breathless attention" Aaron Bernstein's Popular Books on Natural Science in which the author asked children to visualise riding alongside an electrical signal inside a telegraph wire. This probably inspired him by the time he was 16 years old to ask the fateful question: what would a light beam look like if you could race alongside it? Newton might have predicted that it would appear frozen in time, but even a 16-year-old knew that frozen light waves did not exist. So began Einstein's bid to topple the foundations of 250 years of Newtonian mechanics.
To illuminate my own thinking process, I like to use two characters: [continued]