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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 (26 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:  |  Auguste Comte (13)  |  Hydrogen (34)  |  Spectroscopy (10)  |  Star (212)

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 (44)  |  Billion (40)  |  Congress (7)  |  Dollar (13)  |  Learning (173)  |  Life (712)  |  People (111)  |  Russia (7)  |  French Saying (61)  |  Singing (6)  |  Supper (4)  |  Telling (23)  |  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 (3)  |  String Theory (7)

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 (222)

If you could meet your grandkids as elderly citizens in the year 2100 … you would view them as being, basically, Greek gods… that's where we're headed.
— Michio Kaku
In Brian Bolduc, 'Captain Michio and the World of Tomorrow', The Wall Street Journal (9 March 2012)
Science quotes on:  |  Citizen (17)  |  Elderly (2)  |  God (316)  |  Greek (35)  |  Heading (2)

Imagine the chaos that would arise if time machines were as common as automobiles, with tens of millions of them commercially available. Havoc would soon break loose, tearing at the fabric of our universe. Millions of people would go back in time to meddle with their own past and the past of others, rewriting history in the process. … It would thus be impossible to take a simple census to see how many people there were at any given time.
— Michio Kaku
In Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994, 1995), 234.
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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
In Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994), 262.
Science quotes on:  |  Quantum Theory (47)

It is sometimes helpful to differentiate between the God of Miracles and the God of Order. When scientists use the word God, they usually mean the God of Order. …The God of Miracles intervenes in our affairs, performs miracles, destroys wicked cities, smites enemy armies, drowns the Pharaoh's troops, and avenges the pure and noble. …This is not to say that miracles cannot happen, only that they are outside what is commonly called science.
— Michio Kaku
In 'Conclusion', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 330-331.
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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 (157)  |  Gateway (3)  |  Past (81)  |  Quantum Theory (47)  |  Time Machine (3)  |  Time Travel (3)

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 (16)  |  Billion (40)  |  Civilization (136)  |  Colony (3)  |  Communication (53)  |  Contact (18)  |  Development (191)  |  Gulf (9)  |  Human (301)  |  Humility (16)  |  Modern (84)  |  Realization (28)  |  Truth (650)

Mathematics… is the set of all possible self-consistent structures, and there are vastly more logical structures than physical principles.
— Michio Kaku
In 'Conclusion', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Consistent (6)  |  Logical (11)  |  Mathematics (529)  |  Physical (65)  |  Possible (43)  |  Principle (185)  |  Set (24)  |  Structure (155)

Maxwell's equations… originally consisted of eight equations. These equations are not “beautiful.” They do not possess much symmetry. In their original form, they are ugly. …However, when rewritten using time as the fourth dimension, this rather awkward set of eight equations collapses into a single tensor equation. This is what a physicist calls “beauty.”
— Michio Kaku
In 'Quantum Heresy', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 130. Note: For two “beauty” criteria, unifying symmetry and economy of expression, see quote on this page beginning “When physicists…”
Science quotes on:  |  Awkward (5)  |  Beauty (143)  |  Call (26)  |  Collapse (16)  |  Criterion (8)  |  Dimension (19)  |  Form (137)  |  Maxwell’s Equations (2)  |  Original (28)  |  Physicist (108)  |  Possess (10)  |  Rewrite (2)  |  Satisfied (7)  |  Single (45)  |  Symmetry (20)  |  Tensor (3)  |  Time (313)  |  Ugly (6)

No other theory known to science [other than superstring theory] uses such powerful mathematics at such a fundamental level. …because any unified field theory first must absorb the Riemannian geometry of Einstein’s theory and the Lie groups coming from quantum field theory… The new mathematics, which is responsible for the merger of these two theories, is topology, and it is responsible for accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of abolishing the infinities of a quantum theory of gravity.
— Michio Kaku
In 'Conclusion', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (50)  |  Albert Einstein (240)  |  Field (102)  |  Fundamental (95)  |  Gravity (81)  |  Impossible (47)  |  Infinity (52)  |  Mathematics (529)  |  Powerful (36)  |  Quantum Theory (47)  |  Seem (24)  |  Superstring (3)  |  Task (52)  |  Theory (506)  |  Unified (6)

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 (16)  |  Compulsory (5)  |  Declaration (5)  |  Eventually (6)  |  Fluctuation (6)  |  Forbid (2)  |  Law (366)  |  Necessity (112)  |  Novel (13)  |  Occurrence (27)  |  Physicists (2)  |  Physics (244)  |  Possibility (87)  |  Principle (185)  |  Quantum Theory (47)  |  Quote (9)  |  Reason (248)  |  Society (142)  |  Time Travel (3)  |  Uncertainty Principle (7)  |  Wait (28)

Remarkably, only a handful of fundamental physical principles are sufficient to summarize most of modern physics.
— Michio Kaku
In 'Conclusion', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Fundamental (95)  |  Handful (4)  |  Modern Physics (9)  |  Physical (65)  |  Principle (185)  |  Remarkable (30)  |  Sufficient (20)  |  Summarize (4)

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 (3)  |  Comparison (45)  |  Corner (17)  |  Dark (34)  |  Derivation (12)  |  History Of Science (48)  |  Illuminating (3)  |  Isolation (23)  |  Known (13)  |  Life (712)  |  Man (327)  |  Mathematician (152)  |  Mathematics (529)  |  Profound (36)  |  Srinivasa Ramanujan (15)  |  Strangest (4)  |  Supernova (7)  |  Tragedy (12)  |  Tuberculosis (8)  |  Waste (48)  |  Western (9)  |  Working (19)

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 (63)  |  Billion (40)  |  Cosmology (17)  |  Creation (192)  |  Dollar (13)  |  Europe (28)  |  Exploration (86)  |  Genesis (10)  |  Gigantic (12)  |  Greatest (48)  |  Large Hadron Collider (6)  |  Nothing (182)  |  Physics (244)  |  Piece (21)  |  Recreation (10)  |  Research (445)  |  Secret (80)  |  Throw (23)  |  Tiny (14)  |  Tube (4)  |  Universe (433)  |  Unlocking (2)  |  Window (18)

The mind of God we believe is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. That is the mind of God.
— Michio Kaku
From online article with video 'Math is the Mind of God', (29 Dec 2012) on website of bigthink.com.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (284)  |  Cosmic (19)  |  Dimension (19)  |  God (316)  |  Hyperspace (3)  |  Mind (429)  |  Music (54)  |  String (15)  |  Superstring (3)

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 (37)  |  Hyperspace (3)  |  Measurement (141)  |  Physicist (108)

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 (7)  |  J. Robert Oppenheimer (28)  |  Particle (74)  |  String Theory (7)  |  Theory (506)

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
In Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (493)  |  Foolishness (5)  |  Incorrect (6)  |  Persist (6)  |  Prestige (6)  |  Proof (176)  |  Scientist (361)  |  Stubbornness (4)  |  Theory (506)

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).
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What is terrorism? Terrorism in some sense is a reaction against the creation of a type one [planet-wide advanced] civilization. Now most terrorists cannot articulate this. … What they’re reacting to is not modernism. What they’re reacting to is the fact that we’re headed toward a multicultural tolerant scientific society and that is what they don’t want. They don’t want science. They want a theocracy. They don’t want multiculturalism. They want monoculturalism. So instinctively they don’t like the march toward a type one civilization. Now which tendency will win? I don’t know, but I hope that we emerge as a type one civilization.
— Michio Kaku
From transcript of online video interview (29 Sep 2010) with Paul Hoffman, 'What is the likelihood that mankind will destroy itself?', on bigthink.com website.
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When physicists speak of “beauty” in their theories, they really mean that their theory possesses at least two essential features: 1. A unifying symmetry 2. The ability to explain vast amounts of experimental data with the most economical mathematical expressions.
— Michio Kaku
In 'Quantum Heresy', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 127.
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[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)."
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[T]he yeoman’s work in any science, and especially physics, is done by the experimentalist, who must keep the theoreticians honest.
— Michio Kaku
In Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Experimentalist (9)  |  Physics (244)  |  Research (445)  |  Theorist (23)


See also:
  • 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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