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Is this sci fi - or the near future?

Michio Kaku, author of "Physics of the Future," describes a planetary civilization in which the next generation will lead "the lives of the gods."

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Physics of the Future
By Michio Kaku
Knopf Doubleday
389 pp

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In 1863 French novelist Jules Verne wrote “Paris in the Twentieth Century,” a remarkably prophetic piece of literature about the city in 1960. Verne envisioned glass skyscrapers, gasoline-powered cars, fax machines, and a communications network much like the Internet. Acclaimed physicist and author Michio Kaku has set himself the same bar for accuracy in his latest book, Physics of the Future.

Though he acknowledges that “predictions will always be flawed,” Kaku asserts his book is the most authoritative attempt to describe our coming century. I spoke with Kaku about the future of technology, humanity, and why we should believe him.

Q. How is “Physics of the Future” different from your 2008 bestseller “Physics of the Impossible”?

“Physics of the Impossible” goes thousands of years into the future, when time travel, wormholes, and dimensional gateways may be a possibility. This new book is much more ambitious. We’re talking about the next 50 to 100 years. I asked 300 of the world’s top scientists very concrete questions: Who will have jobs in the future? How long will we live? How will we communicate by computers? What about robots?

Q. Moore’s law states that computer power doubles about every 18 months. How has this rule of thumb driven your predictions?

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