*A NOTE: I WILL BE TAKING A BREAK FROM BLOGGING…….
One of my most favorite scientists that I would like to talk about….
Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, was born in San Jose, California to Japanese immigrants. His parents immigrated to the US to help out during the San Francisco Earthquake. During World War II, however, his parents were sent to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, an internment camp. It was probably because of this that I think Kaku grew up in a relatively poor family, given most Japanese internees came out poor. He was soon born after his parents were released, and at the age of eight, he heard of Einstein, who he instantly became a fan of and became his inspiration and most important influence to strive for science. This scientific drive appeared in his high school career, which I envy very much. What I envy is his scientific ambition during high school, in where for a national science project, he assembled a particle accelerator in his parent’s garage. First off, I would have been too lazy to ever do something like that given the enormous amount of time required, and secondly, his parents actually supported him in buying him the materials, perhaps showing how influential his parents were to Kaku. My parents would have never done that. Now, as I had inferred, he was poor. How did he get into college, and not just any college, but Harvard University? Well, it happened that professor Dr. Edward Teller, saw Kaku’s project, liked it, and awarded him the Hertz Engineering Scholarship, allowing him to go full ride into Harvard. With hard work and a little bit of luck, Kaku had just gone into a university, which was rare for a poor person like Kaku.
Now, today, at this very moment, Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and professor at the City University of New York. As implied, he is most well-known in the field of theoretical physics, given his work in popularizing it, such as appearing in radio shows, documentaries, and television shows and writing books to generate interest in theoretical physics. However, that is nothing; that is like dirt compared to the diamond of his career– he cofounded string theory. String theory explains that the universe is made up of strings which resonate with a specific frequency on their own. It is able to combine the theory of relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics, something Einstein tried but failed doing, based on the assumption there are multiple dimensions and universes. Today, it is a widely popular theory among many theoretical physicists for understanding the universe, although Kaku hasn’t finished yet. He is currently searching for the missing link to his string theory- the theory of everything, something Einstein also tried but failed doing. It almost seems as if Einstein is Kaku’s role model, in where Kaku is doing things that Einstein was doing. Hopefully, however, Kaku doesn’t fail in finding the theory of everything like Einstein.
Kaku’s works have received varying criticisms from the scientific community and the world. His string theory, as I have just mentioned, is widely accepted by many scientists, although there are a few dissenting scientists now and then. He has won at least two New York Times Best Sellers for two of his physics books, and holds the title of Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in New York City College. However, he has been also notably criticized by the scientific community (and became extremely popular among the world at large) for his popularization of theoretical physics, or in other words, his work of making advanced physics understandable to the general community. I don’t know why he’s being criticized for this- maybe the scientific community wants to feel smarter than the rest- but I think what he’s doing is right. If he hadn’t popularized theoretical physics, my life would have gone on a different course. I would have first of all never known theoretical physics even existed. I would have never had the dream of being a theoretical physicist and helping create the Theory of Everything. Basically, his work affects me to this day because it made me realize what I wanted to be when I grow up- a theoretical physicist.
In my next post, I will talk about a popular theory in theoretical physics: hyperdimensions.