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String theorist Michio Kaku: “Contact with aliens is a terrible idea” Physics



MediumIchio Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York. He is a champion of string theory and a well-known science popularizer. He has appeared on television many times and has several best-selling books. His latest book, Formula of GodThis is a clear and understandable investigation of the exploration of combining Einstein̵

7;s general relativity with quantum theory to create an all-encompassing “theory of everything” about the nature of the universe.

How close do you think science is to completing all theories?
Well, I think we actually have a theory, but no final form. It has not been tested, and the Nobel Prize winners take the opposite view of the so-called string theory. I am the co-founder of string field theory. String field theory is one of the main branches of string theory, so I have some “skins in the game”. I strive to be fair and balanced. I think we are on the verge of a new era. New experiments are underway to detect deviations from the standard model. In addition, we have the mystery of dark matter. Any of these unexplored areas can provide clues to all theories.

String Theory involves a lot of theoretical physics, demonic mathematics and incredible abstract. Do you think the public is capable of grasping the details of this debate?
I think the public is curious about the possible consequences of this theory. In a sense, the universe is like a chess game. For more than 2,000 years, we have been trying to figure out how chess pieces move. Now we begin to understand the queen’s actions and how to get checkmate. The destiny of science will become like a master to solve this problem we call the universe. The public hopes to answer some outstanding questions. For example, time travel, other dimensions, wormholes. What happened before the big bang? What is on the other side of the black hole? Within the framework of Einstein’s theory, none of these questions can be answered. You must go beyond Einstein and enter quantum theory.

How much do you think Isaac Newton can make Know your book?
I think he will be very grateful. In 1666, we suffered a huge plague. Cambridge University was closed and a 23-year-old boy was sent home. He saw an apple falling in his house. Then he realized that the laws governing Apple are the same as those governing the moon. Therefore, this epidemic gave Isaac Newton the opportunity to sit down and follow the mathematical principles of apple falling and moon falling. But of course there was no mathematics at that time. He couldn’t solve the problem, so he created his own mathematics. That is what we are doing now. We are also being hit by the plague. We are also limited to our desks. We are also creating new mathematics.

Some physicists believe that finding an all-encompassing theory is a misleading reductionist. How do you get a job in these circles?
I will be very blunt, there is a split, this is a split we have never seen in ten years. I think of the Solvay Conference, when Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein opposed quantum theory in one of the greatest debates in the history of science. Well, string theory has also aroused great interest and strong opposition. People say, so, where is the proof? Frankly speaking, we did not prove it, just as Newton did not prove his inverse square law in 1666. Sometimes, both mathematics and ideas precede specific experimental data. That’s where the Large Hadron Collider comes into play.

The Large Hadron Collider has made headlines Recently discovered the results of research on the behavior of quarks. Will this affect all theories?
The Standard Model is the theory of almost everything. It works very well, but it is one of the ugliest theories put forward so far. You must manually enter a large number of experiment numbers. But in string theory, the standard model just popped up suddenly. With just a few assumptions, you can get a complete standard model. Therefore, the meaning here is that we need experimental proof, and the LHC may give us some hints that the standard model is biased. This is where the post-LHC physics comes into play.

You have already compared To Carl Sagan The ability to convey complex science in a form that you can access. How important is it to attract a large audience?
In the 1990s, when our physicists proposed the Super Collider, we were shocked. It is much larger than the Large Hadron Collider. It was originally on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, but was later cancelled. What went wrong? On the last day of the hearing, a congressman asked: “Will we find God on your machine? If so, I will vote yes.” The poor physicist had to answer this question, I don’t know. What to say. We should say that this is a genesis machine that will create the greatest invention ever-the conditions of the universe. Unfortunately, we say the Higgs boson. People say that another subatomic particle needs 10 billion dollars? They cancelled the machine.

In February last year, the Large Hadron Collider was repaired.
In February last year, maintenance work was carried out on the Large Hadron Collider. Photography: Valentin Flauraud/AFP, Getty Images

Do colleagues hate your sense of fashion?
Frankly speaking, Carl Sagan met with strong opposition when he began to enter public places. After voting, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, but was rejected. The Super Collider was cancelled because we were in the ivory tower and had nothing to do with taxpayers. Then there is Stephen Hawking. He has aroused great interest and is a true physicist at the forefront of science, not just a “popular person”, which is a criticism of Sagan. So I think this is very humble. We must sing for dinner. In the 1960s, all we had to do was go to Congress and say one word: Russia. Then Congress will say two words: how much is it? Those days are gone forever.

You believe that within a century, we will be in contact with alien civilizations. Are you worried about what they might bring?
Soon, we will install the network telescope in orbit, and there will be thousands of planets to observe, which is why I think we have a great opportunity to establish contact with alien civilizations. Some of my colleagues think we should contact them. I think this is a bad idea. We all know what happened when Montezuma met Cortez in Mexico hundreds of years ago. Now, personally, I think the aliens there will be friendly, but we cannot gamble. Therefore, I think we will make contact, but we should be very cautious.

You discussed many outstanding scientists in your book. For you, which one stands out more than the others?
Newton ranked first because he had almost nothing. Starting from the era of witchcraft and witchcraft, he proposed the mathematics of the universe, and he proposed theories of almost everything. This is incredible. Einstein piggy used Newton’s calculus to calculate the dynamics of curved space-time and general relativity. They are like supernovae, brilliant and chaotic, illuminating the entire landscape and changing the destiny of mankind. Newton’s laws of motion laid the foundation for the industrial revolution. Such people will appear every few centuries.

You describe yourself as an agnostic. Does your research make you further away from or away from the idea of ​​designer god?
Stephen Hawking said that he did not believe in God, because the Big Bang happened instantaneously and God did not have time to create the universe, so God does not exist. I have a different point of view. My parents are Buddhists. In Buddhism, there is Nirvana, eternity, no beginning, no end. But my parents placed me in a Presbyterian church, so I went to Sunday school every week to learn about Genesis and how to create the universe in seven days. Now, through the idea of ​​a multiverse, we can merge these two diametrically opposed paradigms. According to string theory, the big bang is happening all the time. As we speak, Genesis takes place somewhere in the universe. What has the universe expanded into? The nirvana eleven-dimensional hyperspace is a nirvana. Therefore, you can have Buddhism and Judeo-Christian philosophy in one theory.


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