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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Michio Kaku Quotes

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Michio Kaku
(24 Jan 1947 - )

American theoretical physicist who is a co-founder of string theory. He is also a futurist and a popularizer of science as a best-selling author and in appearances on TV and radio.


Science Quotes by Michio Kaku (16 quotes)

A hundred years ago, Auguste Compte, … a great philosopher, said that humans will never be able to visit the stars, that we will never know what stars are made out of, that that's the one thing that science will never ever understand, because they're so far away. And then, just a few years later, scientists took starlight, ran it through a prism, looked at the rainbow coming from the starlight, and said: “Hydrogen!” Just a few years after this very rational, very reasonable, very scientific prediction was made, that we'll never know what stars are made of.
— Michio Kaku
Quoted in Nina L. Diamond, Voices of Truth (2000), 332.
Science quotes on:  |  Hydrogen (25)  |  Spectroscopy (10)  |  Star (132)

After that cancellation [of the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas, after $2 billion had been spent on it], we physicists learned that we have to sing for our supper. ... The Cold War is over. You can't simply say “Russia!” to Congress, and they whip out their checkbook and say, “How much?” We have to tell the people why this atom-smasher is going to benefit their lives.
— Michio Kaku
As quoted in Alan Boyle, 'Discovery of Doom? Collider Stirs Debate', article (8 Sep 2008) on a msnbc.com web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom Smasher (2)  |  Benefit (21)  |  Billion (24)  |  Congress (6)  |  Dollar (11)  |  Learning (130)  |  Life (460)  |  People (72)  |  Russia (5)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Singing (4)  |  Supper (3)  |  Telling (16)  |  Texas (3)

For more than ten years, my theory was in limbo. Then, finally, in the late 1980s, physicists at Princeton said, “There's nothing wrong with this theory. It's the only one that works, and we have to open out minds to hyperspace.” We weren't destined to discover this theory for another 100 years because it's so bizarre, so different from everything we'd been doing. We didn't use the normal sequence of discoveries to get to it.
Describing reaction to his superstring theory of hyperspace which mathematically relates the universe's basic forces.
— Michio Kaku
Quoted in Nina L. Diamond, Voices of Truth (2000), 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Hyperspace (2)  |  String Theory (5)

I got a four year scholarship to Harvard, and while I was there they wanted to groom me for work in the Star Wars program designing weapons ignited by hydrogen bombs. I didn't want to do that. I thought about how many scientists had died in World War II.
— Michio Kaku
Quoted in Nina L. Diamond, Voices of Truth (2000), 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (199)

In fact, it is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. Some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it, in fact, is that it is unquestionably correct.
— Michio Kaku
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994), 262.
Science quotes on:  |  Quantum Theory (36)

It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy—and that's a big “IF”—then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein's equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.
— Michio Kaku
Quoted by J.R. Minkel in 'Borrowed Time: Interview with Michio Kaku', Scientific American (23 Nov 2003).
Science quotes on:  |  Energy (103)  |  Gateway (3)  |  Past (42)  |  Quantum Theory (36)  |  Time Machine (2)  |  Time Travel (2)

It's humbling to realise that the developmental gulf between a miniscule ant colony and our modern human civilisation is only a tiny fraction of the distance between a Type 0 and a Type III civilisation – a factor of 100 billion billion, in fact. Yet we have such a highly regarded view of ourselves, we believe a Type III civilisation would find us irresistible and would rush to make contact with us. The truth is, however, they may be as interested in communicating with humans as we are keen to communicate with ants.
— Michio Kaku
'Star Makers', Cosmos (Feb 2006).
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (10)  |  Billion (24)  |  Civilization (90)  |  Colony (2)  |  Communication (37)  |  Contact (12)  |  Development (122)  |  Gulf (3)  |  Human (168)  |  Humility (12)  |  Modern (44)  |  Realization (22)  |  Truth (450)

Physicists often quote from T. H. White's epic novel The Once and Future King, where a society of ants declares, “Everything not forbidden is compulsory.” In other words, if there isn't a basic principle of physics forbidding time travel, then time travel is necessarily a physical possibility. (The reason for this is the uncertainty principle. Unless something is forbidden, quantum effects and fluctuations will eventually make it possible if we wait long enough. Thus, unless there is a law forbidding it, it will eventually occur.)
— Michio Kaku
In Parallel Worlds: a Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos (2006), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (10)  |  Compulsory (2)  |  Declaration (3)  |  Eventually (2)  |  Fluctuation (4)  |  Law (273)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Novel (6)  |  Occurrence (21)  |  Physics (156)  |  Possibility (70)  |  Principle (97)  |  Quantum Theory (36)  |  Quote (3)  |  Reason (173)  |  Society (84)  |  Time Travel (2)  |  Uncertainty Principle (7)  |  Wait (15)

Srinivasa Ramanujan was the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. He has been compared to a bursting supernova, illuminating the darkest, most profound corners of mathematics, before being tragically struck down by tuberculosis at the age of 33... Working in total isolation from the main currents of his field, he was able to rederive 100 years’ worth of Western mathematics on his own. The tragedy of his life is that much of his work was wasted rediscovering known mathematics.
— Michio Kaku
In Hyperspace:A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1994), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Bursting (2)  |  Comparison (33)  |  Corner (13)  |  Dark (12)  |  Derivation (8)  |  History Of Science (34)  |  Illuminating (2)  |  Isolation (16)  |  Known (5)  |  Life (460)  |  Man (258)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Profound (23)  |  Srinivasa Ramanujan (10)  |  Strangest (2)  |  Supernova (6)  |  Tragedy (9)  |  Tuberculosis (8)  |  Waste (31)  |  Western (5)  |  Working (11)

The Europeans and the Americans are not throwing $10 billion down this gigantic tube for nothing. We're exploring the very forefront of physics and cosmology with the Large Hadron Collider because we want to have a window on creation, we want to recreate a tiny piece of Genesis to unlock some of the greatest secrets of the universe.
— Michio Kaku
Quoted by Alexander G. Higgins (AP), in 'Particle Collider: Black Hole or Crucial Machine', The Journal Gazette (7 Aug 2009).
Science quotes on:  |  America (41)  |  Billion (24)  |  Cosmology (11)  |  Creation (129)  |  Dollar (11)  |  Europe (16)  |  Exploration (48)  |  Genesis (10)  |  Gigantic (6)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Large Hadron Collider (6)  |  Nothing (89)  |  Physics (156)  |  Piece (13)  |  Recreation (6)  |  Research (360)  |  Secret (44)  |  Throw (11)  |  Tiny (9)  |  Tube (2)  |  Universe (291)  |  Unlocking (2)  |  Window (11)

The strength and weakness of physicists is that we believe in what we can measure. And if we can't measure it, then we say it probably doesn't exist. And that closes us off to an enormous amount of phenomena that we may not be able to measure because they only happened once. For example, the Big Bang. ... That's one reason why they scoffed at higher dimensions for so many years. Now we realize that there's no alternative...
— Michio Kaku
Quoted in Nina L. Diamond, Voices of Truth (2000), 333-334.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Bang (24)  |  Hyperspace (2)  |  Measurement (112)  |  Physicist (74)

There are 60 sub-atomic particles they've discovered that can explain the thousands of other sub-atomic particles, and the model is too ugly. This is my analogy: it's like taking Scotch tape and taping a giraffe to a mule to a whale to a tiger and saying this is the ultimate theory of particles. ... We have so many particles that Oppenheimer once said you could give a Nobel Prize to the physicist that did not discover a particle that year. We were drowning in sub-atomic particles.
Now we realize that this whole zoo of sub-atomic particles, thousands of them coming out of our accelerators, can be explained by little vibrating strings.
— Michio Kaku
Quoted in Nina L. Diamond, Voices of Truth (2000), 334.
Science quotes on:  |  Accelerator (4)  |  J. Robert Oppenheimer (19)  |  Particle (45)  |  String Theory (5)  |  Theory (353)

There are many examples of old, incorrect theories that stubbornly persisted, sustained only by the prestige of foolish but well-connected scientists. ... Many of these theories have been killed off only when some decisive experiment exposed their incorrectness.
— Michio Kaku
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (369)  |  Foolishness (3)  |  Incorrect (4)  |  Persist (5)  |  Prestige (6)  |  Proof (136)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Stubbornness (4)  |  Theory (353)

This is a huge step toward unraveling Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 1—what happened in the beginning. This is a Genesis machine. It'll help to recreate the most glorious event in the history of the universe.
[Comment on a milestone experiment, the collision of two proton beams at higher energy than ever before, upon the restarting of the Large Hadron Collider after a major failure and shutdown for repair.]
— Michio Kaku
As quoted by Alexander G. Higgins and Seth Borenstein (AP) in 'Atom Smasher Will Help Reveal "The Beginning" ', Bloomberg Businessweek (30 Mar 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (71)  |  Chapter (2)  |  Event (49)  |  Genesis (10)  |  Glory (20)  |  Happening (23)  |  History (156)  |  Huge (4)  |  Large Hadron Collider (6)  |  Machine (56)  |  Recreation (6)  |  Step (26)  |  Universe (291)  |  Unraveling (2)  |  Verse (7)

[On the practical applications of particle physics research with the Large Hadron Collider.] Sometimes the public says, 'What's in it for Numero Uno? Am I going to get better television reception? Am I going to get better Internet reception?' Well, in some sense, yeah. ... All the wonders of quantum physics were learned basically from looking at atom-smasher technology. ... But let me let you in on a secret: We physicists are not driven to do this because of better color television. ... That's a spin-off. We do this because we want to understand our role and our place in the universe.
— Michio Kaku
As quoted in Alan Boyle, 'Discovery of Doom? Collider Stirs Debate', article (8 Sep 2008) on a msnbc.com web page. The article writer included the information that Kaku noted that past discoveries from the world of particle physics ushered in many of the innovations we enjoy today, ranging from satellite communications and handheld media players to medical PET scanners (which put antimatter to practical use)."
Science quotes on:  |  Atom Smasher (2)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Internet (7)  |  Large Hadron Collider (6)  |  Particle Physics (4)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Public (35)  |  Quantum Physics (15)  |  Reception (5)  |  Research (360)  |  Role (17)  |  Satellite (12)  |  Secret (44)  |  Sense (104)  |  Technology (98)  |  Television (8)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Universe (291)

[T]he yeoman's work in any science, and especially physics, is done by the experimentalist, who must keep the theoreticians honest.
— Michio Kaku
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Experimentalist (7)  |  Physics (156)  |  Research (360)  |  Theoretician (5)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 24 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Kaku's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
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Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton