Michio Kaku Biography

What You Should Know About Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku giving a talk at Campus Party Brasil on February 11th 2012,
Michio Kaku giving a talk at Campus Party Brasil on February 11th 2012,. Cristiano Sant´Anna/indicefoto.com

Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist, best known as one of the founders of string field theory. He has published several books and hosts television specials and a weekly radio program. Michio Kaku specializes in public outreach and explaining complicated physics concepts in terms people can understand and appreciate.

General Information

Born: January 24, 1947

Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Japanese

Degrees & Academic Achievements

  • Went to the National Science Fair in high school with a home-made atom smasher built in his parents' garage.
  • 1968, Physics B.S. (summa cum laude) from Harvard University
  • 1972, Physics Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley
  • 1973, lectureship at Princeton University
  • 25 years as Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York.
  • Has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton & New York University.

String Field Theory Work

In the realm of physics research, Michio Kaku is best known as the co-founder of string field theory, which is a specific branch of the more general string theory which relies heavily on mathematically framing the theory in terms of fields. Kaku's work was instrumental in showing that the field theory is consistent with known fields, such as Einstein's field equations from general relativity.

Radio & Television Appearances

Michio Kaku is the host of two radio programs: Science Fantastic and Explorations in Science with Dr. Michio Kaku. Information about these programs can be found on Dr. Kaku's official website.

In addition to radio appearances, Michio Kaku frequently makes appearances on a wide variety of popular shows as a science expert, including Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Nightline, and 60 Minutes.

He has hosted a number of science shows, including the Science Channel series Sci-Fi Science.

Michio Kaku's Books

Dr. Kaku's written a number of academic papers and textbooks over the years, but is especially noted among the public for his popular books on advanced theoretical physics concepts:

Michio Kaku Quotes

As a widely published author and public speaker, Dr. Kaku has made many notable statements. Here are few of them:

“Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.” 
― Michio Kaku, Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos

“In some sense, gravity does not exist; what moves the planets and the stars is the distortion of space and time.”

“To understand the difficulty of predicting the next 100 years, we have to appreciate the difficulty that the people of 1900 had in predicting the world of 2000.” 
― Michio Kaku, Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

Other Information

Michio Kaku trained as an Army infantryman when drafted into the military, but the Vietnam War ended before he shipped out.

Edited by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.