Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku

The cover of Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku. Doubleday

The Bottom Line

If you are interested in these "impossible" concepts from the realm of science fiction - invisibility, force fields, teleportation, robots, space ships, UFOs, and telepathy - then Kaku's analysis of how they may (or may not) be realized in the real world would likely be of interest, although it is unclear whether it would really present any new information to those who fall in the target audience.


  • Explores concepts at the very fringe of physics.
  • Kaku deftly and elegantly explains complex physics concepts.


  • Offers few solid predictions, just general discussions of issues and conjectures.
  • Most of target audience already knows the majority of the information presented.


  • Doubleday, March 11 2008
  • 326 pages, 15 chapters + prologue, epilogue, notes, bibliography, & index
  • Author, Michio Kaku, is a renowned physicist and author of popular physics & futurism books.
  • See also Michio Kaku's for similar concepts

Guide Review - Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku

Physicist and author Michio Kaku focuses his keen explanatory powers on the issue of "impossible" physics, from invisibility and teleportation to force fields and robots. He explains the hurdles to realizing these science fiction concepts as reality. The concepts explored in the book include:

  • Force Fields
  • Invisibility
  • Energy Weapons
  • Teleportation
  • Telepathy
  • Psychokinesis
  • Robots
  • UFOs & Aliens
  • Space Travel (including Faster Than Light travel)
  • Parallel & Alternate Universes
  • Time Travel
  • Perpetual Motion Machines
  • Precognition
Throughout the book, he divides the level of impossibility into three classes:
  • Class I impossibility: consistent with the known laws of physics and might be realized within the next century or so.
  • Class II impossibility: lies at the edge of known physics and, if possible, might be invented for at least millenia.
  • Class III impossibility: defies known laws of physics and would require a fundamental revision of our scientific knowledge in order to function.
In exploring these concepts, Dr. Kaku uses them as lessons in fundamental physics concepts, such as quantum physics, Einstein's theory of relativity, or his own field of string theory, frequently invoking science fiction films to highlight the impossibilities being discussed. While he presents little in the way of solid predictions, Dr. Kaku goes into detail on describing the physics involved in staple science fiction technologies and elegantly separates the realistic from the fantastic. Perhaps the one drawback to this book, as to most similar attempts, is that fans of science fiction and science will find little in the way of earth shattering information presented, and those who aren't fans of such things will likely be uninterested in reading a book about them. As such, it's unlikely to be a worthwhile read for most of its target audience.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.