Thursday, April 07, 2011

Michio Kaku and the Future of the World

Michio Kaku is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York of City University of New York, the co-founder of string field theory, and a "communicator" and "popularizer" of science. He has written several books on physics and related topics, he has made frequent appearances on radio, television, and film, and he writes extensive online blogs and articles.  Kaku's new book is an extension of his previous book, Physics of the Impossible.  Rather than talkin about walking through walls, telekinesis, or time travel, Kaku tackles more salient topics: the future of science and humanity.     In particular, through his interviews with numerous scientists and futurists, Kaku is able to paint a picture of what is in store for us in the next 100 years.

 What really struck me is the end of Moore's Law.  According to the laws of physics, the evolution of technology will eventually come to a halt, thus ending the concept of Moore's Law's exponential growth of computer technologies.  Moore's Law depends on miniaturizing transistors; and at the heart of the revolution is the tiny computer chips, which get cheaper and cheaper with each generation.   At some point, it will be physically impossible to etch transistors smaller than the size of an atom.  Moore's Law will stop when the transistor finally hits the size of individual atoms.  In fact, Kaku predicts Silicon Valley could rust away by 2020 unless a replacement comes along.  Some food for thought -- Physics of the Future is definitely a book worth reading.