Dr. Michio Kaku — Exploring Time Travel, the Beauty of Physics, Parallel Universes, the Mind of God, String Theory, Lessons from Einstein, and More (#562)

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“If quantum theory says that an electron could be in two places at the same time, then why can’t people also be in two places at the same time? And for that matter, why can’t the universe be in two places at the same time? At this point you may say to yourself, ‘This is weird.’ Well, get used to it. It’s called physics!”

— Dr. Michio Kaku

Dr. Michio Kaku (@michiokaku) is a professor of theoretical physics at The City College of New York, co-founder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Beyond Einstein, The Future of Humanity, The Future of the Mind, Hyperspace, Physics of the Future, Physics of the Impossible, and his latest, The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything.

He is the science correspondent for CBS This Morning, the host of the radio programs Science Fantastic and Exploration, and a host of several science TV specials for the BBC and the Discovery and Science Channels.

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#562: Dr. Michio Kaku — Exploring Time Travel, the Beauty of Physics, Parallel Universes, the Mind of God, String Theory, Lessons from Einstein, and More

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear another episode with someone who ponders the mysteries of the universe for a living? Listen to my conversation with Columbia University physics and astronomy professor Janna Levin in which we discuss youthful indiscretion, extra dimensions, omnivorous reading, Möbius strips, philosophy 101, time travel, UFOs, and much more.

#445: Janna Levin on Extra Dimensions, Time Travel, and How to Overcome Boots in the Face

  • Connect with Dr. Michio Kaku:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


  • What piqued Michio’s curiosity about science at an early age — and what did he build in his garage with his parents’ grudging permission? [05:08]
  • How did hydrogen bomb pioneer Edward Teller, the patron who paid Michio’s way through Harvard, react when he turned down his generous job offer to design hydrogen warheads in favor of probing the mysteries of The Big Bang? [10:20]
  • Knowing his California-born parents had been locked up by the United States government in an internment camp on the basis of their Japanese heritage during WWII, did Michio have any reservations about serving the country during the Vietnam War? [11:30]
  • The ingredients Michio feels are necessary for anyone to rise above any hardship. [12:53]
  • What sci-fi had an impact on young Michio’s curiosity and passion to explore the mysteries of science? [14:47]
  • Does Michio think Einstein underestimated philosophy’s potential for practical application? Are there any philosophies better suited than others for answering the universe’s big questions? Are there any questions that can’t be answered? [16:46]
  • What constitutes burden of proof when it comes to science? [25:56]
  • What is a parallel universe? [35:20]
  • Why does the rate at which time moves vary depending on where it’s observed, and what are the implications of this phenomenon? [37:04]
  • How does Michio think about consciousness? Is the term synonymous with self-awareness? [42:26]
  • When Einstein pondered what it would take to “read the mind of God,” what kind of God was he imagining? For that matter, how does Michio think about the concept of God? [53:22]
  • What is string theory, why is it controversial, and why are such controversies healthy for science? [58:50]
  • What would be the practical applications of a theory of everything proven? What questions could we finally answer? [1:04:37]
  • Does music play a part in how Michio contemplates physics? [1:09:52]
  • Michio’s challenge to our listeners. [1:13:07]
  • Why didn’t cosmologist George Gamow win the Nobel Prize for his work on proving the Big Bang theory? [1:13:36]
  • Is there a career cost for research scientists who work to make science more accessible to the non-academic masses? What is the cost to society if there aren’t scientists willing to take that risk? [1:16:58]
  • How are some scientists seemingly able to predict the future more accurately than others? What advancements does Michio foresee in the next couple of decades? [1:22:13]
  • For listeners unfamiliar with the body of Michio’s work, where does he recommend they begin? [1:29:17]
  • Michio’s favorite Einstein quote and other parting thoughts. [1:30:56]


“Curiosity by itself is not enough. … You have to have a passion that takes you all the way to the top.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“If the quantum theory says that an electron could be in two places at the same time, then why can’t people also be in two places at the same time? And for that matter, why can’t the universe be in two places at the same time? At this point you may say to yourself, ‘This is weird.’ Well, get used to it. It’s called physics!”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“In science, truth comes out of incorrect debate with untruth.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“I said, ‘Mom, can I have permission to build a 2.3 million electron volt particle electron accelerator in the garage?’ And she kind of stared at me and said, ‘Sure, why not? And don’t forget to take out the garbage.’”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“To a physicist, what is beauty? Beauty to a physicist is symmetry. There’s a symmetry in music. … The ultimate symmetry would take the universe, just like the prongs of an ice crystal, rotate all the prongs so that the universe rotates into itself. That is string theory. The lowest octave of string theory is relativity.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“I have a challenge for young people out there. For you young people out there listening to this interview, if you ever discover the God equation and figure out the mystery of dark matter, then I give you a word of advice. What should you do? First of all, tell me first. Tell me first and we’ll split the paper. We’ll split the Nobel Prize and we’ll both be considered the next Einstein.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“When you listen to the static on a radio, you’re listening to Genesis. The Big Bang itself is still reverberating throughout the universe.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“Unless you engage the public, they’re not going to give you tax money to do your research.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku

“If it ain’t fun, don’t do it.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku


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