Michio Kaku (@michiokaku) is a theoretical physicist, famed futurist, on-air personality, professor of physics, and bestselling author. His latest book is The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything.
What We Discuss with Michio Kaku:
- Why do we need a theory of everything, and what set a young Michio Kaku on the path to search for it?
- How we’re all born scientists with a yearning to understand the world around us, and what tends to dampen this enthusiasm for most of us before we even make it to adulthood.
- Why physicists seeking to wrap their minds around a universal string theory are more like daydreaming composers than academic blackboard warriors.
- The four fundamental forces of a universe governed by string theory, and the challenge of discovering how they fit together — and proving it.
- What makes the human brain so unique in the animal kingdom, and why Michio thinks IQ is a woefully incomplete way of measuring intelligence.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
When an eight-year-old Michio Kaku read a newspaper obituary for the recently departed Albert Einstein, the caption underneath a picture of a book on his desk declared that the greatest scientist of our time could not finish this book. This sparked a curiosity in him that prompted an attempt to build an atom smasher in his garage, captured the attention of nuclear pioneer Edward Teller and won him a scholarship to Harvard, and led to the pursuit of what Einstein couldn’t finish: a unified theory of everything.
On this episode, theoretical physicist, famed futurist, on-air personality, professor of physics, and bestselling author Dr. Michio Kaku joins us to talk about his latest book, The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything. Here, we discuss the compelling music of string theory, why we’re all born scientists but few of us reach adulthood with this yearning to understand the world around us intact, why IQ is a criminally incomplete way to gauge human intelligence, how humans might explore the universe in the not-too-distant future without breaking the current rules of physics, how recent discoveries seem to validate certain forces that string theorists have predicted all along, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
The all-new 2022 Tuscon is the defining answer after Hyundai’s engineers and designers asked how they could make a great SUV even greater. They added game-changing technology and safety, and now, for the first time, it comes in hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Learn all about the 2022 Tuscon at hyundai.com!
HostGator has been around almost as long as the Internet. Does your business have an Internet presence? Save up to a whopping 62% on new webhosting packages with HostGator at hostgator.com/jordan!
With Peloton, your best workout is just steps away — and that means more time for what matters. Cycling, strength, yoga, and more, live and on demand from the comfort of home. Get started on your Peloton journey by going to onepeloton.com to learn more!
Klaviyo is the marketing platform for brands that are focused on growth from day one. Start growing your brand with personalized email, mobile, and web experiences that scale with you with a free trial at klaviyo.com/jordan!
Simple Mobile was founded on the idea that there is a better way to do wireless. Unlimited, no-contract plans starting at $25. Just text BYOP to 611611 to see if your phone is compatible, and visit simplemobile.com to find out more!
Miss our two-part conversation with the Caravaggio of currency counterfeiting? Catch up by starting with Episode 488: Frank Bourassa | The World’s Greatest Counterfeiter Part One here!
Thanks, Michio Kaku!
If you enjoyed this session with Michio Kaku, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Michio Kaku at Twitter!
Click here to let Jordan know about your number one takeaway from this episode!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything by Michio Kaku | Amazon
- The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku
- Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku
- Michio Kaku | Website
- Michio Kaku | Twitter
- Michio Kaku | Facebook
- How the Search for a Unified Theory Stumped Einstein to His Dying Day | The Conversation
- Michio Kaku: An Atom Smasher in the Garage | Big Think
- Edward Teller | Atomic Heritage Foundation
- Richard Feynman on the Difference Between Knowing the Name of Something and Knowing Something | Coffee and Junk
- What Is String Theory? | Space
- The Man in the High Castle | Prime Video
- The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick | Amazon
- Learn about the Many-Worlds Picture of Quantum Mechanics | Britannica
- Quantum Physics | New Scientist
- The Uncertainty Principle | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Newton’s Theory of Light | The Star Garden
- Explaining Quantum Physics to Newton…in 140 Characters | Quantum Frontiers
- The Einstein-Rosen Bridge | Initiative for Interstellar Studies
- The Alice in Wonderland Omnibus by Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel | Amazon
- Grandfather Paradox (RE: All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein) | Encyclopedia Britannica
- First Results from Fermilab’s Muon G-2 Experiment Strengthen Evidence of New Physics | Fermilab
- The Standard Model | CERN
- What is Dark Matter? | Space
- Sheldon Cooper | The Big Bang Theory Wiki
- Bandwagon Effect | Investopedia
- Quark Model | Wikipedia
- Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales | Wikipedia
- What Is Nirvana in Buddhism? | Tricycle
- 5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse | Space
- Multiverse | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
- Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) | NASA
- Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) | Louisiana Tech University
- The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics | NobelPrize.org
- The Kardashev Scale: Can We Advance Beyond a Type 3 Civilization? | Futurism
- Why Math is Probably the Best Way to Communicate With Aliens | Inverse
- Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50 | Scientific American
- Michio Kaku: Genetic and Digital Immortality Are Within Reach | Big Think
- Futurist Says We’ll Use Lasers to Beam Our Minds Into Space Someday Soon | Wired
- Contact | Prime Video
- Ten 100-Year Predictions That Came True | BBC News
- Flash Gordon Episode One: Planet of Death | Timeless Television
- Carl Sagan Explaining the 4th Dimension | Cosmos
- Bryan Johnson | A Plan for the Future of the Human Race | Jordan Harbinger
Michio Kaku | The Quest for a Theory of Everything (Episode 512)
Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Hyundai for sponsoring this episode.
[00:00:02] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:05] Michio Kaku: Things that we cannot answer can be answered by the theory of everything. Time travel, other universes, gateways to other universes — is it possible that there was a universe before the big bang? Is there a black hole connected to a white hall on the other end? All these questions cannot be answered using Einstein's theory. That's why we need a theory of everything. So once and for all, we can say time travel does or does not happen, that there are other dimensions, other universes. And then of course, people asked me the question: if there are other universes, then it's Elvis Presley still alive in another parallel universe? And the answer is possibly yes, in this universe, Elvis Presley died, but there could be another universe where Elvis Presley is still belting out those hits. Yes, that is definitely possible.
[00:01:02] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional billionaire investor, organized crime figure, or former Jihadi. Each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:29] If you're new to the show or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the show, we have episodes starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes organized by popular topics. These will help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started or to help somebody else get started. And every time you share the show and you tell me about it, it just makes my day. So please go right ahead and do that.
[00:01:54] Today, on the show Michio Kaku, this guy is obviously super incredible. He popularizes physics for the public as a science communicator. You've seen him on TV. You've probably seen him on National Geographic, the BBC, Discovery Channel everywhere. He's written various popular science books, including Physics of the Future, Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe. He is a big thinker, right? There's a lot of books. There's a lot of bestsellers in there. I won't bore you with all of them. You can read them yourself. They're fascinating.
[00:02:21] Michio Kaku focuses on theoretical physics and the continuing search for a so-called theory of everything. This is a theory that's going to unite the four fundamental forces of nature, which by the way, I didn't even believe this when I looked this up. They're called the strong force, the weak force, gravity, and electromagnetism. I just thought it was funny that we're talking about string theory and multiple parallel universes, and there's two forces out of four. One's called strong and one's called weak, like as a layman, thank you. I appreciate that.
[00:02:47] Dr. Kaku's latest book is the most personal drawing on the search for this universal theory of everything that he calls the God equation. Now, this is obviously super complicated, this isn't something I can explain to you very easily. It's not something anybody can explain very easily. Dr. Kaku is going to give it a damn good try here on the show. And as I tried to wrap my head around this, which wasn't easy, I found the following, all right, scientists know that even in a vacuum space has never emptied, right? So we have this so-called vacuum, but really it's filled with an invisible sea of virtual particles that in accordance with the laws of quantum physics pop in and out of existence for incredibly short moments of time, which experts call it quantum foam. This is this group of particles — group isn't even the right word, right? These just pop in and out of existence all over the universe, even in space.
[00:03:31] In examining movements in the quantum foam to see if the Standard Model of physics. So all this stuff we think we know right now, see if it has holes, see if those holes can then be fixed by a universal theory of everything. So that is what Michio Kaku is trying to find. And string theory, each note on a string is a particle and physics in turn is the laws of harmony that describe these vibrations. Chemistry is the melodies. We can play on the strings, which can bump into each other. The universe is a symphony of strings and the so-called mind of God, that Einstein struggled with for so long, is cosmic music resonating through hyperspace — can you see why I had a hard time wrapping my head around this stuff? This is so abstract for somebody like me and for most of us, I would think.
[00:04:15] So physics is the laws of harmony that describe the vibrations of the strain. Chemistry is the melodies we play on the string and the universe is a symphony of strings. And the whole theory that he's looking for is cosmic music resonating throughout hyperspace. So honestly, if Michio Kaku were not a physicist, I'd say he did way too much LSD or something, but I can really see his passion for this stuff. That's part of what makes this episode so interesting for me. And I hope for you as well.
[00:04:38] And if you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers, and creators every single week here on the show, it's because of my network. And I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. By the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course, they contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong. Now, here's Dr. Michio Kaku.
[00:05:00] So I want to start where I think a lot of people have started, which is, I heard that you built a particle accelerator of some kind or an atom smasher in the garage. What was going on there?
[00:05:10] Michio Kaku: Well, it all started when I was eight years old. A great scientist had just died. And all the newspapers published a picture of his desk. On that desk was a book, just a book that was open. And the caption said that the greatest scientist of our time could not finish that book. Well, I was fascinated by this story. I went to the library. I had to know who this man was. How come he didn't ask his mother? How come he didn't do this as a homework assignment? Well, I found out the man's name was Albert Einstein. And that book was the theory of everything that would allow us to "read the mind of God". Well, I was hooked. I had to be part of this great revolution.
[00:05:54] So I went to my mom. When I was in high school, I said, "Can I build a particle accelerator in the garage? I'm going to build a 2.3 million electron betatron accelerator in the garage." And my mom said, "Sure, why not? And don't forget to take out the garbage." Well, I took out the garbage, I assembled 400 pounds of transformer steel, 22 miles of copper wire. And I built a betatron particle accelerator in the garage. Every time I plugged it in, it consumed six kilowatts of power. I blew out all the circuit breakers and my poor mom, you know, she came home from a hard day's work and say, "How come I don't have a son who plays baseball? Maybe, I'll buy him a basketball. And for God's sake, why can't you find a nice Japanese girlfriend? Why does he have to build these machines in the garage?" Well, because of that, I went to the national science fair. I met Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb, and he offered me a scholarship to Harvard and that began my career.
[00:06:53] But then when I graduated from Harvard, he offered me a job. A job designing hydrogen warheads. So I thought, "Well, maybe that's not what I want to do. I want to work in something bigger. Something even bigger than a hydrogen bomb. And that is the big bang. I'm going to work on this dream to help complete Einstein's theory of everything." So I said, "No, I don't think I'm going to build hydrogen warheads. I want to build universes with the theory of everything." And that's how I got started.
[00:07:25] Jordan Harbinger: How old were you when you tried to build this accelerator in the garage?
[00:07:28] Michio Kaku: I was 16 years old.
[00:07:29] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:07:30] Michio Kaku: Luckily, Stanford University was not too far away and I went to the library and I was able to get all the equations and all the blueprints. And it was just a question of me then haggling to get all the parts, transforming steel, vacuum, tube technology, capacitor banks, all of that in the garage.
[00:07:49] Jordan Harbinger: So did you just show up to labs and go like, "Hey, I kind of need 16 miles of copper wire," and they're like, "Sure. There's some in the back, go take it." I mean, how do you even get all of that stuff?
[00:07:59] Michio Kaku: Yeah. Well, luckily, Westinghouse was not too far away and Westinghouse had extra transformer steel, 400 pounds' worth. And so I was able to get that for almost nothing. Varian Associates was close by. Because this, of course, was before Silicon Valley became Silicon Valley. And so there were some electronics firms there. And from Varian Associates, I got 22 miles of copper wire and when I wound it, I wound it on the high school football field. My mother got the wire from the goalpost, strapped to the goalpost to the football field. My mother then raced to the 50-yard line, gave it to my father who then raised to the other goalpost and we wound 22 miles of copper wire over Christmas vacation. So that's what I did for Christmas, basically, wind magnets for a particle accelerator.
[00:08:49] Jordan Harbinger: So now it makes sense why your mom said, "Why don't you just play baseball?" Because she probably thought — it's funny, because this is probably all parents, but she probably thought, "Here's my son just wasting his life winding magnets up when he could be out running around egging people's houses and playing catch like everyone else."
[00:09:04] Michio Kaku: That's right. Well, actually, my mother didn't know what the hell I was doing. She just knew it kind of sounded important and pretty much let me have my way. So I advise all the parents, all the parents who email me, let your kids follow their dreams. This is what they have decided for themselves. They're taking the initiative, the independence. They think that this is going to put them over the top, go for it. That's my attitude.
[00:09:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I like that. I've got a small kid and when I was young, I wasn't making particle accelerators, but I liked making things. And my dad was a mechanical engineer. But my parents still weren't totally thrilled with the things I was making, because of course I wanted to make things that exploded or made lots of noise. And they were like, "Why don't you just, you know, read about those things?" And that wasn't as exciting to me but, of course, I also understand their kind of biological imperative of trying to keep their offspring alive while also making sure that the house didn't get blown up. So I kind of get both sides of the story.
[00:10:00] Michio Kaku: Well, you know, we are all born scientists. We're born wondering why the sun shines. We want to know where we came from. We want to know how the stars light up at night. And then we hit the greatest killer of scientists known to science. The greatest killer of scientists known to science is junior high school. We lose millions of young scientists every day, every day because science has made boring scientists, made memorization, learn the parts of a flower, no rhyme or reason. And that's why we lose so many young budding scientists. You see, science is about principles. It's about concepts, not memorizing the parts of a flower, okay.
[00:10:44] Jordan Harbinger: I agree with that. Although I do still remember lots of the parts of a flower, I don't remember enjoying the learning process involved with memorizing. It's like languages, right? I mean, I was terrible at French and I thought I'm not a language guy. I'm never going to be able to learn a language. Then I moved overseas to Germany in high school as an exchange student. And I learned German really, really well. And then I moved to Serbia and then I moved to Ukraine and then I moved to other countries like Israel, countries like this Mexico. It turns out I'm actually really good at languages. I'm just not good at memorizing spreadsheets with the ways that verbs are conjugated, like we were made to do in school. So I understand that.
[00:11:16] Michio Kaku: Right now, Richard Feynman, the Nobel Laureate in physics — I like to tell this story. When he was a child, his father would take him into the forest and explain everything about birds to them, why they're colored the way they are, the shape of their beak, the shape of their wings. So the young Feynman became an expert on birds. And then one day a bully comes up to him and he says, "Hey Dick, what's the name of that bird over there?" Well, Richard Feynman, future Nobel Laureate knew everything about that bird except his name. Why it's colored that way? Why it flew that way? Why it was feeding that way? Everything about the bird except its name. So the young Feynman said, " I don't know." And then the bully said, "What's the matter Dick? Are you stupid or something?"
[00:12:04] And in that instant, Feynman realized the difference between science and the appearance of science. You see the appearance of science is knowing all these fancy words, but the essence of science is concept, principles. The concepts in physics, relativity, the quantum theory concepts in biology, DNA, and evolution, the concepts are what drive science forward. Of course, you have to know some names, but knowing the names does not make you a scientist.
[00:12:35] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned that you were invited to go make, I guess, the next generation of nuclear weapons, but you decided to study universes instead. Did you feel more push away from nuclear weapons or pull more towards studying universes? Like, was it, "I really don't want to work on nukes because I'm against it," or was it more, "I'm just really more interested in universes"?
[00:12:55] Michio Kaku: Well, I began to realize that bomb-making, which is what we could do is engineering. That the basic physics of the chain reaction, the basic physics of the fusion process, unleashing the energy of the sun, E equals MC squared, where M of the sun turns into E of sunlight, all these things are basic science, but we're known, we're known by the 1950s. Back then the main thing that they wanted to do is create bigger bombs, more efficient bombs, what they call third generation bombs.
[00:13:28] First-generation bombs were huge, gigantic weapons that could be carried by a gigantic bomber. Second generation bombs are MARV, that is small warheads packed into one missile like 10 warheads in one missile. Third-generation hydrogen warheads is what he wanted me to work on. Third generation hydrogen weapons are Star Wars. We're talking about hydrogen bombs in outer space, zapping things with laser beams and particle beams, all the Buck Rogers stuff you read about in high school. And to me, that was engineering. And I wanted to do physics. That is the concepts, principles that make the universe work. And I kept thinking back to Einstein's book. I wanted to help finish that book.
[00:14:12] And today, by the way, we think we have it. It's called string theory, very controversial. Nobel prize winners have split on the question, but we think that music, music is the paradigm that Einstein missed for the last 30 years of his life. You see, if he had a super microscope and can peer into an electron, it would not be a dot. A dot is very boring, not very interesting. It's actually a rubber band. And when you twine the rubber band, it changes frequency. It changes notes. If it turns into a neutrino. You twine it again, it turns into a quark. You twine it again, it turns into all the subatomic particles and it's the same string. So particles are nothing but notes. Musical notes on a rubber band. Physics is the harmonies. You can write on these rubber bands. Chemistry is the melodies you can play when these rubber bands bump into each other. The universe is a symphony of strings. And then the mind of God, the mind of God, that Einstein chased after for 30 years of his life, we now believe is cosmic music. Cosmic music resonating through hyperspace that we think is the mind of God.
[00:15:28] Jordan Harbinger: It just seems so — when you're developing a theory like this, you know, are you drawing — I'm imagining one of two things, right? You're either doing lots of equations that have little symbols that nobody ever knows what they mean, or you're just staring out the window blankly. Which, what is the majority of your time spent doing when you're figuring things out like this?
[00:15:49] Michio Kaku: Well, cartoonists always like to put scientists at the blackboard yelling and screaming at each other.
[00:15:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:15:55] Michio Kaku: Yeah, we do that, but that's not the bulk of what we do. We are like composers of music. If you ever watch a composer, they look out the window and have melodies dancing in their head, fragments of melodies in their head. And when these melodies begin to coalesce, then they get a sheet of paper, write down some notes, Planck up the notes on the piano, and then they go back to staring at the window again.
[00:16:19] That's what we do. We spend most of our time, just like a composer staring at the window, except equations. Equations dance in our head. And then once in a while, these equations began to gel. They begin to condense into something interesting. Then we write it down on a sheet of paper and then we go back and look at the window again. And so my wife says, "What are you doing?" I say, "I'm doing physics." And she says, "No, you're staring out the window. You can't fool me."
[00:16:45] Jordan Harbinger: Don't worry. I have tenure. It's fine. All right. So how do you know if you're doing something productive by staring out the window or is it always productive because you—? It's hard for me to imagine this, right? As somebody who talks instead of thanks as evidenced by this program, but it seems like you could easily go down pathways. You must constantly be going down roads and then going, "Oh, this wasn't it. Turn around and go back, start over." I mean, it has to be kind of all day every day, right?
[00:17:10] Michio Kaku: That's right. We have something called file 13. File 13 is the garbage can and we fill up the more, the garbage cans you fill up, the better you are. And the way we work though, is that we have concepts in our minds that we want to fit together. Now, there are four fundamental forces. We have gravity, which keeps us on the floor. We have electromagnetism, which lights up our cities with dynamos, television sets, and radio. Then we had the two nuclear forces. The key to the game is to mill them together, to fit these equations. We have the equations for each, but they don't fit together that well. After 50 years, he figured out how three of the four forces fit together except gravity.
[00:17:52] So we have gravity on one hand and we have the quantum theory on the other hand, and these two theories, we try to put together, but they don't fit. They don't fit. It's as if God had a left hand and a right hand and they didn't talk to each other. Now, that's stupid. Why would God create a universe where the left hand or the right hand don't talk to each other? But relativity is a theory of the very big, based on smooth surfaces of gravity. And the quantum theory is based on particles, particles that you chop up. And how do you put these two theories together? Theories of particles and the theories of smooth surfaces. Well, the paradigm that does it is music. All of this is nothing but musical notes. In fact, if Einstein had never been born, we would have discovered relativity as the lowest octave, as the lowest octave of the string. And so that's magic. When magic starts to occur in your equations, you're onto something. You know, you're onto something.
[00:18:52] Jordan Harbinger: I've spoken to a lot of brilliant creatives for The Jordan Harbinger Show and many musicians. For example, they'll hear these little fragments or beats and melodies in their head. Like you mentioned with the composer. I'm wondering. Do you actually visualize the equation or do you have it — do you almost feel that process because you don't need the math anymore? I'm wondering sort of how second nature these equations are in your brain.
[00:19:15] Michio Kaku: These equations are real. We've memorized all the equations, let's say of string theory. And our job is to put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Literally, it's like a jigsaw puzzle putting these equations together until they fit. And so these are real and they're gorgeous. The guiding principle is that it has to be beautiful. I put in together a jigsaw puzzle and then this picture, this gorgeous picture emerges as you put the pieces together. That's the reason why you know you're on the right track.
[00:19:45] In other words, the universe, in some sense, can also be like into a chess game. After thousands of years, we finally figured out how the pawns move, the bishop, the knights move, and now we're beginning to become grand masters. We're beginning to figure out how all the pieces move. And then we begin to strategize about how to apply this, to create something novel. Like for example, things that we cannot answer can be answered by the theory of everything. Time travel, other universes, gateways to other universes. Is it possible that there was a universe before the big bang, is there a black hole connected to a white hole of the other end? All these questions cannot be answered using Einstein's theory. That's why we need a theory of everything. So once and for all, we can say time travel does or does not happen, that there are other dimensions, other universes. And then of course, people ask me the question. If there are other universities, then it's Elvis Presley still alive in another parallel universe. And the answer is possibly yes.
[00:20:52] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:20:53] Michio Kaku: In this universe, Elvis Presley died.
[00:20:55] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:20:56] Michio Kaku: But there could be another universe where Elvis Presley is still belting out those hits. Yes, that is definitely possible consistent with the known laws of physics.
[00:21:04] Jordan Harbinger: That to me is kind of crazy. So there's another version of me somewhere, theoretically, there's another version of me somewhere where instead of my parents being like, Hey, don't blow up the house." They were like, "Blow up whatever you want." And I became some sort of, well, maybe scientist and I'm giving an interview to you because you're a podcaster, unfortunately, for you.
[00:21:22] Michio Kaku: Yeah.
[00:21:23] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm telling you all this incredible stuff.
[00:21:26] Michio Kaku: Exactly. You know, that's a real possibility. In fact, there's a TV series based on that principle, Men in the High Castle. Men in the High Castle is on TV. And it's based on a short story by Philip K Dick, which in turn is based on quantum theory. You see in that short story, there was an assassin who killed Franklin Delano Roosevelt before World War II. In one universe, the gun misfires and Franklin Roosevelt leads the allies to victory against the Nazis. But in another universe that bullet goes through and kills FDR. America is paralyzed. The Nazis won the World War II and took the east coast and the Japanese Imperial army took the west coast. So one bullet, which in turn could be reduced to a quantum event. A misfire, misfiring of the gunpowder could cause a bullet to misfire or fire. And so two universes, two universes open up on the basis of one incident, which is a quantum event, the burning of gunpowder inside a bullet. Isn't that amazing?
[00:22:35] Jordan Harbinger: It is.
[00:22:36] Michio Kaku: That you can have universes split in half. This is called the many-worlds theory. And string theory is compatible with the many-worlds theory. And so, yeah, universities might be being created even as we speak.
[00:22:49] Jordan Harbinger: So like there's a universe in which my Internet went out and we didn't have this interview and it changes everything from there out. And that's just another world that's created. So there's an infinite amount. It's not just many worlds. It's like infinite amounts of worlds.
[00:23:02] Michio Kaku: In principle, yes. And all we can do is calculate the probability. You know, for our PhD exams, we give our PhD students questions, like, "Will you wake up on Mars tomorrow?" Of course, most people would say, "That's crazy. You can't wake up on Mars tomorrow." But there's a finite probability that your wave function will in fact go to Mars tomorrow. And we ask students to calculate it. Well, to be honest, you would have to wait longer than the lifetime of the universe for that to happen. So in other words, chances are, you're not going to wind up on Mars tomorrow, but there's a finite probability that you can calculate.
[00:23:37] Now, if you don't like this idea, get used to it. This is called quantum theory. And the quantum theory is the foundation for the digital revolution of today. Transistors, lasers, the Internet, digital technology is all based on this idea that electrons can be in two places at the same time that electrons can bifurcate to create two universes. That's why we have lasers for example.
[00:24:02] Jordan Harbinger: Well, because they can be in two different places at the same time?
[00:24:05] Michio Kaku: That's right. You don't exactly know where the electron is.
[00:24:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:24:08] Michio Kaku: You can actually say electron is in two places at the same time, then that determines the firing of the electron inside a laser. The very fact that we have lasers, we have the Internet transistors computers, diodes. The wonders of modern technology is based on the quantum theory. And so we have to realize that the quantum theory has a philosophical foundation of sand. That's why Einstein couldn't get his head around it, but hey, get used to it. It works.
[00:24:37] Jordan Harbinger: Is that the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle? That when you're looking at it, you can't see—
[00:24:40] Michio Kaku: My God, he's got it. That's right. The Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says you don't know where the electron is, or it could be in two places at the same time. And that is the basis of what we call lasers and transistors and modern electronics. That's why we're having this conversation. This conversation by rights should be impossible. Newton would say, "No way that you can talk to someone instantaneously across the country. No way. Nope." Dude was wrong in this question. The world is quantum mechanical. Get used to it.
[00:25:11] Jordan Harbinger: Did Newton have an opinion about talking over distance? I missed that with his other amazing discoveries.
[00:25:16] Michio Kaku: Yeah, for example, Newton thought that the speed of light is just an ordinary velocity, nothing new. You can go faster than the speed of light. Newton thought that electron is here, not there. Electron cannot be in two places at the same time, but 20th century science proved that wrong. 20th century science proved that the speed of light is the ultimate velocity in the universe. That Einstein is the cop in the block. And second of all, because of the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, electron is going to be in two places at the same time.
[00:25:50] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Dr. Michio Kaku. We'll be right back.
[00:25:55] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. Believe me, I used to be one of those people who thought nobody looked at websites anymore. I assumed they went straight to social media profiles, but guess what? I was wrong. People spend most of their time online buying products and using services. Considering the amount of time people spend online, having a website for business owners of any size is crucial. If you have a business and you don't own a website, you might be losing a lot of potential customers online and missing the key to grow your business many folds. So what's stopping you from building yours? HostGator has plans that started $2 and 64 cents a month for our listeners. And let's be honest, that's cheaper than a parking meter. HostGator is offering up to 66 percent off packages for new users with a 45-day money-back guarantee. 18 years of experience, 24/7, 365 support. You're never going to be on your own when it comes to HostGator. So it's time to make it official. Go to hostgator.com/jordan right now to get started. hostgator.com/jordan.
[00:26:49] This episode is also sponsored by Peloton. I need to have a coach in front of me to push me when I'm working out at home. With world-class instructors, curated music, and endless fitness variety, Peloton has created an unmatched fitness experience to keep you motivated workout after workout. If you're in a bit of a slump I've gotten in those slumps, right? You don't feel like working out. You know, the thing turns into a freaking towel rack for a couple of days, but Peloton is community and funny instructors. There's this guy, Cody Rigsby, this guy's really funny. He helps motivate you to get back on track, being fit, being healthy. Again, instructors, normally first stuff like this, they sound like every podcast, right? Believe in yourself. Anything is possible. Like they just grab that from Instagram or some podcaster in the self-help section. Cody Rigsby on the other hand, this guy, he's like, "You're a hot shot, steaming plate of fajitas at a packed Chili's on a Friday night, just turning heads. Who's getting the fajita? Who's excited to get the fajita?" It's ridiculous, now that I say it. You're going to love it. That's the whole reason. I mean, there's a reason you're sitting in your bedroom on a stationary bike sweating in the first place. I like to have 20 minutes. It's because of the fajita, well, it's because of the beans. It's not because of the fajita. I liked that they have 20-minute classes. That's all I can handle when I first started out a couple of weeks, consistent classes, you can work up to 30, 45 minutes. They've got their famous cycling courses, but they've got Tabata intervals, stretching, yoga bar, working at booty running. Jen's favorite dance cardio, video forthcoming at some point. What's really great is they have an all-access membership. It's a family plan at no additional cost. Everyone in the whole house shares one membership.
[00:28:15] Jen Harbinger: Get started on your Peloton journey. Go to onepeloton.com to learn more. That's O-N-E-P-E-L-O-T-O-N.com.
[00:28:23] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Dr. Michio Kaku on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:28:29] You mentioned white holes before, and I didn't plan on going there, but so black hole sucks everything in. That's my lay understanding of that. So white hole blasts everything out from inside.
[00:28:39] Michio Kaku: Exactly. Let's say I have two sheets of paper that are parallel, two universes, but I can create a wormhole that connects these two so that if I fall into one universe, that's called the black hole. I can be spewed out into the other universe. And that is called a white hole. Now, who invented this bizarre idea? Einstein himself. In 1935, he wrote this path breaking paper. It's now called the Einstein-Rosen bridge. In fact, I was watching some Marvel comics and even in Marvel comics, they adopt this nomenclature.
[00:29:15] This gateway between universes is the Einstein-Rosen bridge. It is a wormhole. Now, you've seen this all your life. Alice's Wonderland was written by a mathematician, Charles Dodgson, writing under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, and the looking glass is the wormhole. A gateway between two universes. So when you fall into one, like in a black hole, perhaps we're not sure, perhaps you're blown out the other end on a white hole.
[00:29:45] And so this is something that we physicists have looked at very carefully. Stephen Hawking, even concluded that such a solution is possible. Of course, you could take a very advanced civilization to do it, but yeah, Stephen Hawking said that, well, time travel could be difficult, but wormhole travel that is going faster than the speed of light is consistent with modern physics.
[00:30:08] Jordan Harbinger: I wonder, I guess, we probably have no idea that if you get sucked through a black hole and you end up on the other side in another universe, you don't end up in the same place. Right? If I'm in San Jose, California, do I end up in the San Jose, California in another universe? Or am I just in the middle of nowhere? We don't know, right?
[00:30:24] Michio Kaku: Well, it is possible that the universe can curve around and back on itself. So if I have a universe here and a universe there and a wormhole opens up connecting these two, then you're right. This is for example, a time machine you go into here and you wind up on the other sheet of paper in a different time.
[00:30:44] And so it was Einstein himself, by the way, who wrote about time travel. Many people don't realize that general relativity does have time travel solutions in it, but we don't know if they're stable or not. Stephen Hawking looked at it and thought that they were not stable. That is as soon as you enter a time machine, it will probably explode. Well, we're not sure there's still some debate about that question, but it is a solution of Einstein's equations. You go into a time machine and you come back before you leave.
[00:31:13] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, that's cool. Everybody should love that, right? I mean, that's incredible, that's literally the definition of incredible. It's just unbelievable in so many ways, but also would be — no wonder, you're so excited about this.
[00:31:25] Michio Kaku: Yeah. I mean, we're pushing the boundaries of common sense.
[00:31:28] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:31:29] Michio Kaku: And you know, time travel, of course, presents problems of paradoxes. Like you go backwards in time and kill your grandparents before you were born. How can you be born if he just killed your grandparents before you were born? Or you commit suicide in the past. How can you be alive if he does kill yourself in the past? Not only that, but Robert Heinlein showed that you can be your own mother, your own father, your own child if time travel is possible.
[00:31:55] Here's how it works really briefly. Let's say there's a transgender woman who gets pregnant and gives birth to a baby, but then later in life decides to switch from a woman to a man. He now goes backwards in time, meets himself as a young girl. He makes love to himself in the past and has a baby. So in other words, if time travel is possible, you can be your own mother and your own father. So there's all these bizarre paradoxes you can make if time travel is possible.
[00:32:26] Jordan Harbinger: That is bizarre. And there's a lot of — it's either the plot of a horror movie or just the most brilliant thing ever. I mean, there's a lot of roads that can go down many, many worlds as a result of that line of thought. Is finding out whether or not string theory is accurate — is it the lack of technology that's stopping us? Is it a lack of data or is it just something that we — how do we prove that it's right. And then, you know, full stop or is that not possible?
[00:32:52] Michio Kaku: First of all, for those people listening to this program, if they ever figure out the whole, all the details of the God equation, what should you do? First, you should tell me first.
[00:33:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:33:05] Michio Kaku: And then of course we'll split the Nobel prize money together, you and me. Okay?
[00:33:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:33:10] Michio Kaku: But realize that there are ways to test this theory. Two weeks ago, outside Chicago, we have Fermilab, a gigantic particle accelerator, and they found that the mu meson, which is a higher version of an electron was behaving magnetically different than the theory said it should. So right now, we have something called the Standard Model. It does seem to govern the behavior of subatomic particles, but it is ugly. It does not contain gravity at all and is ugly as sin. Why should mother nature at the fundamental level create this bizarre theory called the Standard Model with so many parts that it's a theory so ugly only a mother can love it. Well, we found the first deviation two weeks ago, this is big news. It's making the headlines and at least in physics journals. It could mean that there's a higher theory out there that the four forces have to be joined with the fifth force. There's a hidden force there as predicted by string theory.
[00:34:10] String theory predicts there could be a 5th, 6th force, higher octaves, higher octaves of the string. And we may just have picked up the first clue two weeks ago. This is big news because it means that perhaps we now have experimental evidence of a higher theory. A theory, which is beautiful, elegant, the way Einstein thought it should be. And that's big news.
[00:34:34] Jordan Harbinger: How come we didn't see it before? Is the force too small to measure in the past? Or does it exist like in a different dimension or something that we couldn't see?
[00:34:41] Michio Kaku: No, these are extremely tiny effects.
[00:34:44] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:34:44] Michio Kaku: You're talking about atom smasher, a billion-dollar machine that is sensitive enough to pick up slight deviations, but there's a crack. There's a crack in the Standard Model of subatomic particles. We now believe that the Standard Model is nothing but the lowest octave, just the lowest octave of the string. It contains all of Einstein's theory. So that if Einstein had never been born, I repeat if Einstein had never been born, we would have discovered general relativity anyway, as the lowest octave of the string. But the string has higher octaves.
[00:35:18] One octave we think is dark matter. Dark matter is the most mysterious substance in the universe. It is invisible, but it has weight and it holds the galaxy together. The galaxy Milky Way should fly apart but dark matter holds the galaxy together from flying apart. What is it? Nobody knows. There's a Nobel prize out there for anyone who could figure out what dark matter is. I think dark matter is again, the next octave, just another vibration, a higher vibration of the string. That is what we think dark matter is.
[00:35:53] Jordan Harbinger: Do you get crazy people emailing you with like, "I've solved dark matter, I had a dream last night, here's what it is"? You must get that.
[00:36:00] Michio Kaku: I get a lot of emails and yes, quite a few of them say that they are the next Einstein, that they have everything. Well, I have three criteria to win the Nobel prize. If you want to win the Nobel prize and be considered the next Einstein, you have to satisfy three criteria. First is you have to contain relativity, Einstein's theory. Second, you have to contain this ugly theory called the Standard Model and propose a higher theory. And third, it has to be finite and self-consistent. In other words, two plus two is four, we know. If there's a mistake in the theory, then the theory might predict two plus two is five and that's ridiculous. And so those get thrown out.
[00:36:42] Now the only theory which satisfies all three criteria is string theory. Some people say, "Well, I don't like string theory. Give me an alternative." Well, there is none. It is the only game in town. In fact, if you watch the Big Bang Theory on CBS. Sheldon works on the string theory, naturally, because it is the only game in town. Now, that doesn't mean it's right. It just means that there's no competition.
[00:37:07] Jordan Harbinger: Are there credible people that think, "Okay, string theory is a bunch of BS. Michio Kaku, he just loves the camera. There's probably some other explanation, but we just don't know what it is"? So like, is there anybody out there that just thinks you're full of it?
[00:37:20] Michio Kaku: Yeah. These people think there's a bandwagon effect and this bandwagon effect crushes alternate theories. So that by default, string theory is the theory that's talked about the most. I get some of that, however, you have to realize that, you know, physics has always been that way.
[00:37:37] When I was a grad student in string theory was on the outs. People said, "What? Hyperspace? Vibrating string? You got to be nuts." So we were on the outs back then. The theory they never wanted to work on, what's called the Quark Model, which turned out to be correct, but it shows you that we humans at the cutting edge, we're human. We do believe in bandwagon effects. We take favorites. We put our bets on certain horses and we shun other horses. That's just human nature. And 50 years ago, string theory was on the outs. We were the bad boys. We were the ones people laughed at. And so the tide has turned, but look, I've seen the tide turn many times. In other words, get used to it.
[00:38:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Right. I guess, sticking to your guns in science has got to be pretty tough when a lot of people think you're wrong, but if you're the only game in town, it's got to be a pretty good position finally, to be in.
[00:38:28] Michio Kaku: Yep. That's right.
[00:38:29] Jordan Harbinger: Not without the crazies on social media. I know you're not a huge fan of IQ and the focus on IQ. Tell me a little bit about that. I wonder if you prefer a different measure of intelligence, if you can even call IQ a measure of intelligence.
[00:38:43] Michio Kaku: Well, I wrote a book, which is also a New York Times bestseller, the Future of The Mind. And I had to look at the evolution of the brain. That is what makes us so intelligent. The back of the brain is a so-called reptilian brain, the brain of eating, food, mating, territory. Alligators have it, reptiles, snakes have the back of the brain. The center of the brain is the monkey brain, the social brain, the brain of pecking order, how to defer to your elders, how to be polite, how to deal with social societies, social animals, wolves, animals like mice, living groups, and they have to be social. That's the central part of the brain. Then the question is, what are we? What is the human brain? What separates us from the animals, the front part of the brain, because the brain has been evolving from the back to the middle, to the front. And what is the front part of the brain? It is the prefrontal cortex. And what does it do? It sees the future.
[00:39:44] Let's do a test, go to your dog tonight and teach your dog the meaning of tomorrow.
[00:39:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Not going to happen.
[00:39:51] Michio Kaku: Teach your dog the meaning of tomorrow. Your dog can't do it. Dogs, animals live in the present for the most part, maybe a few hours in the future, but for the most part, animals live in the present. This part of the brain is a time machine. We are obsessed with the future. We daydream about it. We muse about it. We wonder, we plot, we scheme everything in the front part of the brain, and that's what makes us different.
[00:40:17] Now does IQ measure that? Not really. IQ measures some of that. That is bookkeeping. Because that's what IQ exams are good for calculating bookkeeping. If you're an accountant, I imagine you do very well on IQ exams because that's what IQ exams do, basically bookkeeping, but the front part of our brain sees the future, constantly schemes, plots the future.
[00:40:42] Let me give you an example. The United States Air Force during the Vietnam War gave exams to its pilots who might be shot down over Viet Cong territory and held prisoner. And so they were given a test. A test to see how creative they are. If you're shot down over North Vietnam, can you devise a way to escape? How many ways can you escape? They found out that the pilots who had the highest IQ, they're rather bad. They were not creative. They didn't know how many ways to escape. The people who were very creative were the least likely you think to be called smart, but they had all sorts of crazy methods of trying to escape. In other words, they saw the future. They schemed, they planned, they plotted.
[00:41:28] So if you have a bunch of criminals, who's the smart one, the safe cracker or the guy who has the biggest muscles? The safecracker because he's the one who plots things and maps things out. That's what intelligence is all about. Seeing the future and evaluating which future is the most realistic. Now, do IQ exams do that? No.
[00:41:51] Jordan Harbinger: I know tons of people with high IQ that are not successful in many areas of their life. And so it hasn't seemed to help much. I mean, some of them are really good at math or other sort of what do you call it? Left brain stuff, but they've struggled with people or they can't work in teams very well. It's not really a universal thing. I just always wondered about that because there was a huge emphasis on this that's dwindling now. And that's probably a good thing.
[00:42:16] Michio Kaku: Yes. At Stanford University, they had Stanford–Binet IQ exam and they would track these people who did very well on the Stanford–Binet exam. They were tracked for many decades and they found out that yes, some of them went on to win the Nobel prize, high IQ people. But a lot of them turned out to be a marginal. They lived in the margins of society. They were not successful. They were called losers. And they were also among the high IQ people. And so the people who analyze the Stanford–Binet exam realized that IQ exams, they do measure something they're not totally irrelevant. They measure clerical skills but skills that are human. Human skills, how to make friends, how to negotiate, how to see the future, how to plot, scheme, plan, that thing was not measured by the IQ exam. And those are the people who become the millionaires. They're the ones who become the entrepreneurs. They're the ones who, you know, do very well in society because they're constantly, plotting, and scheming.
[00:43:18] Jordan Harbinger: That describes me pretty well, plotting and scheming. My mom always used to say, "What are you doing?" When I was staring out the window, she wasn't thinking, "Wow, you must be thinking about string theory." She was thinking, "This is not good. We got to get this kid to television our book," because whenever I started thinking about something, then it was, "Mom, can I have 16 miles of copper wire?" But it sure wasn't to make a particle accelerator, but I might've blown out the electricity in the house and one or two times just like you.
[00:43:42] What would you want to see your work used for the most? So if you solve and I put that in air quotes here — if you solve the God equation, string theory, what are some of the most exciting applications you would like to see done with it, both inside your lifetime and beyond? I mean, we talked about time travel, but I wonder if there's something that maybe we've never thought of, or maybe seems mundane to an average Joe, that you're just like, "I want to apply it to this."
[00:44:07] Michio Kaku: Well, you know, my parents were Buddhists and in Buddhism, there is no beginning or end of the universe. There's only Nirvana, this all-pervasive Nirvana, but they put me in a Presbyterian Sunday school.
[00:44:21] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:44:22] Michio Kaku: So I learned all about the Bible and Genesis and the fact that the universe had a beginning. So the universe either had a beginning or it didn't. There's no two ways around it, right? Wrong. This new theory, string theory, allows us to create a multiverse that explains and melds these two opposing theories together. You see, our universe had a big bang. Our universe had a beginning, but there are other universes out there. Our universe is a bubble. We live on the skin of the bubble. The bubble is expanding and that's called the big bang theory.
[00:44:57] Well, string theory says there are other bubbles out there, other bubbles. And what are they floating in? You know, children asked the question at a science museum, you hear children say, "Mommy, daddy, if universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?" Well, it's expanding into a higher dimension. These bubbles that I mentioned are two dimensional. They expand in the third dimension. These universes are three-dimensional and they expand in hyperspace or 11th dimensional space. And so, whereas even as we spoke in this interview, universes have been created. Universes are being created all the time, somewhere in this great super cosmos of ours. This is the multiverse theory. In fact, it is so popular now that if you watch the latest Avengers movie, the whole plot of the latest Avengers movie is the multiverse. It's the entire plot of Thor et cetera, battling Thanos, the battle Thanos in the multiverse so that I hope we can test.
[00:46:00] Now, we're going to launch a satellite called LISA, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. It is a space born gravity wave detector. It'll pick up vibrations from the instant of the big bang. We're going to get baby pictures. We're going to get baby pictures of the infant universe as it emerges from the womb. And maybe just, maybe we'll pick up evidence of an umbilical cord. An umbilical cord connecting our infant universe to a parallel universe. This has all been predicted in string theory. So string theory is correct. It explains why we're here. We're here because these universes sometimes collide or they fusion in half to create a baby universe. And that's where our universe came from.
[00:46:47] Jordan Harbinger: How do you know that universe has collapsed and fusioned together? How do we know that?
[00:46:52] Michio Kaku: Well, it's a theory, but again, this theory is testable because as we get radiation from the instant of the big bang, we'll compare it. We'll compare it to the predictions of string theory. And the string theory does not match the predictions and the data, then of course, we can throw it away. But this is a way to test the theory, again, by using satellite data of the instant of creation. You know, when you turn on your radio and you pick up static, some of that static comes from the big bang. You are actually listening to Genesis a certain fraction of the static you hear on the radio is from creation itself with satellites in outer space. We can pick up signatures of the instant of creation itself. That's the goal of LISA. And it's being funded by the European Space Agency and NASA. And so yes, we hope to actually get signals from Genesis, the instant of creation.
[00:47:49] Jordan Harbinger: How do you know which signals are Genesis and which signals are like a kid in his backyard screwing around with some radio device?
[00:47:56] Michio Kaku: Well, this device is way out of space.
[00:47:59] Jordan Harbinger: It was a bad example, but you know what I mean, right? Like there's a lot of radiation out there. How do you know which is which?
[00:48:03] Michio Kaku: Yeah, there is static out there. And plus there's the background radiation of the explosion itself. You have to subtract out, subtract out all the spurious radiation to get the radiation at the incident of the big bang but we've already done that with black holes. When black holes collide, it creates a shockwave of gravity, which we detect with LIGO. LIGO already exists. It's based in Louisiana and Washington state. What does it do? It picks up radiation from colliding black holes. Something that was once considered science fiction, won the Nobel prize for three physicists who helped design LIGO, which actually does detect radiation from the collision of black holes. Next will be radiation from Genesis itself.
[00:48:51] Jordan Harbinger: That's amazing. It's just sort of incredible that even when in this day and age, when our Internet goes out and things like that, we also simultaneously have the technology to detect radiation from the origin of our universe. It seems it was a little lopsided, honestly, in some ways. Like, why won't this stay connected? Well, here's the radiation from the Genesis of the whole universe, at least we have that. It's incredible.
[00:49:14] Michio Kaku: Right. So the point is that all theories are testable. Now, some theories are difficult to test directly, but most theories are tested indirectly. For example, we know the sun is made out of hydrogen. Now, how do we know that? We've never been there. It's too hot. We know the sun is made out of hydrogen by looking at sunlight and the echo of the sun. We put the echo of the sun, sunlight through a prism and the colors that come out, identify hydrogen. That's why we know the sun is made out of hydrogen.
[00:49:44] So same thing with string theory will prove string theory indirectly. A direct proof is impossible because we're talking about creating a universe. You cannot create a baby universe in your living room anytime soon. But indirectly will pick up radiation from the instant of creation and that I think will prove string theory.
[00:50:04] Jordan Harbinger: You say a direct is impossible. You just mean right now? But in a million years, maybe we can create a mini universe. There will be a CERN on whatever planet we're on. That just goes in the mini universe. Here's everything. Is that possible?
[00:50:16] Michio Kaku: A million years from now it will be what is called a type three civilization. Believe it or not, we physicists actually catalog advanced civilizations far beyond our civilization. A type one civilization controls the weather. They control planetary forces, sort of like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. A type two civilization controls the entire energy of a star, like Star Trek. Star Trek would be a typical type two civilization. Then there's type three. Type three is galactic. They roam the galactic space lanes like Star Wars. Star Wars would be a type three civilization. Now, on this cosmic scale, what are we? Do we play with the weather? Do we play with the sun? Do we play with black holes and the galaxy? No, we are type zero — zero.
[00:51:07] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[00:51:07] Michio Kaku: We get our energy from dead plants, oil, and coal, but we are about a hundred years from making the transition to type one. That is a planetary civilization. For example, what is the Internet? The Internet is the first type one technology that fell into this century. It's a planetary communication system. We're seeing the beginnings of a planetary language of the Internet. The two languages that are most dominant are English and Mandarin Chinese. So we're already beginning to see a planetary language emerge for this type one civilization. And we're beginning to see type one sports Olympics soccer. We're beginning to see a type one fashion, Chanel, Gucci. We're beginning to see a type one music, rock and roll, rap. And so we're beginning to see the birth of a type one culture emerging as we hit 2100. 2100 is when we think we'll hit type one. And then you mentioned a civilization, millions of years, more advanced than us. They will be type three. Type three civilizations would access what is called the Planck energy. That's the energy of the big bang, the energy of wormholes, the energy of parallel universes. So if the aliens are out there, they're not going to be type one. They're not going to be type two. Probably, they'll be type three. They'll have galactic power and they'll access the Planck energy, the energy of the string.
[00:52:40] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Michio Kaku. We'll be right back.
[00:52:45] This episode is sponsored in part by Klaviyo. Ever wondered how the e-commerce brands that you admire do it, how they know the right messages to send to the right people at the right time. Guess what? It's not experienced. They have the right data and the right tools they have Klaviyo. Klaviyo's data-driven marketing automation platform is sophisticated enough to power those legendary campaigns from the brands you admire. They make it simple, easy, and fast enough for anyone to use. Klaviyo helps brands create personalized multi-channel marketing campaigns, using your most powerful asset, which is your customer data. Klaviyo integrates with all leading e-commerce platforms helping you use your customer data in real time to send more relevant email and SMS automations. Plus building a marketing campaign is drag and drop easy. You can get started with your first campaign in under an hour and easily build from there with Klaviyo's best performing templates. No wonder more than 65,000 brands can't get enough.
[00:53:34] Jen Harbinger: To get started with a free trial of Klaviyo visit klaviyo.com/jordan. That's K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.com/jordan.
[00:54:39] This episode is also sponsored in part by Hyundai. Hyundai questioned everything to create the best Tucson ever. Every inch of the all-new Tucson has been completely re-imagined resulting in an SUV loaded with available innovations, both inside and out. From design to technology and safety, every aspect of the new Tucson has been improved upon. Hyundai's digital key allows you to transform your smartphone into a spare key, which is so convenient because for like me can never find your keys or your wallet for them that matter. It's one less thing to remember. LED daytime running lights are stylishly hidden within the cascading front grill, making them invisible when not in use. There's multiple user profiles, which is handy because I share my car with my wife who's five-feet tall and I'm almost six-feet tall, depending on the shoes on a good day after I get up in the morning and returned from space. So I love that I can hop in and have the seat, mirrors, climate control, radio presets, all personalized for me. And 10.25-inch full-touch infotainment screen, and a blind spot view monitor, which this is honestly pretty damn cool because you're not craning your neck left and right to make sure there's nobody about to get run over by you when you're backing up. The SUV has been completely redesigned inside and out to create the best Tucson ever. Learn more at hyundai.com.
[00:55:47] Hey, thanks for listening and supporting the show. I love it when I hear from you, I love that you listened to the show and all I've ever wanted is for people to listen to the stuff that we create. Further, thank you for supporting our advertisers. All of the deals, all the codes you hear, all those magical URLs you hear in the ad reads that we do, those are all in one page on the website for easy access. Just go to jordanharbinger.com/deals. That's where all the discounts are. Please consider supporting those who support us. And don't forget, we've got worksheets for today's episode if you want some of the drills, exercises, main takeaways that we talked about here during the show. Those are all in one easy place in the worksheets. The link to the worksheets is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Now, for the conclusion of our episode with Dr. Michio Kaku.
[00:56:32] You do think about extraterrestrial and alien life forms and things like that. And how many planets out there do you think are capable of sustaining life? Like I say, advanced, but I'm putting that in quotes because I'm talking about humans, advanced life forms like us.
[00:56:46] Michio Kaku: Well, first of all, I get a lot of emails from people that say, "Professor, you're wrong. The aliens are not there. The aliens are here." And how do they know? Because they've been kidnapped. They've been kidnapped by aliens and put in a flying saucer. So I have a word of advice. The next time you are kidnapped by a flying saucer. For God's sake, steal something. An alien ship, an alien hammer, an alien toolkit, anything because there's no law against stealing from an extraterrestrial civilization. You're not going to go to jail. There's no law that says you can't steal from an alien civilization and you'll have proof. Proof that you were in that flying saucer. So just don't brag about it that you've been in a flying saucer. Steal something. That's my advice to you.
[00:57:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's pretty good. Just grab a paperweight or, you know, a pair of alien AirPods or something like that. I mean, even just one.
[00:57:42] Michio Kaku: Anything. And that will clinch it right there. End of story. It will clinch it right there. End of story.
[00:57:50] Of course, let's talk about planets. There are 4,000 planets that have not been cataloged by the capitalist satellite. And we have a census now of the Milky Way galaxy. On average, every star has a planet going around it. So how many planets are there? About a hundred billion in our own backyard, a hundred billion planets. And maybe a quarter of them are Earth-like. So in other words, billions, billions of Earth-like planets are out there. And so then the question is if they're out there, then, how could they don't visit us? Well, if you're going down a country road in a forest and you meet a squirrel. Do you go down to the squirrel and talk to it?
[00:58:31] Jordan Harbinger: Not anymore.
[00:58:32] Michio Kaku: Well, maybe at first, yeah, but after a while you get bored. Why? Because he doesn’t talk back. They have nothing interesting to say to you. And so you simply go about your business and ignore the squirrel. So if they're that advanced, we're like forest animals to them. We're like the deer, the squirrel, we have nothing to offer them. Gold. Gold is useless to an extraterrestrial civilization, Shakespeare, they don't read English. They can translate English, but they don't necessarily understand the English language. So then we have nothing to offer them. So I think for the most part they'll simply ignore us.
[00:59:09] Jordan Harbinger: If you could interact with aliens and ask them something or get some bit of knowledge or even technology, what would you get from them? If they said like an alien genie says, "Look, man, I can't take all this stuff back with me. Or if you have any questions, fire away, I'm about to leave." What do you ask him?
[00:59:25] Michio Kaku: Well, when I write down an equation in my heart of hearts, I would like to believe that an alien on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy is writing that same equation in different notation, because unlike the works of Hemingway or Shakespeare, which are great, physics is universal. That the equations I write down are going to be the same equations that an alien of the other side of the galaxy is also writing down. And so I would like to believe that this is universal. That they're going to have the same frustrations, they're going to have the same path that we talked when we started to construct the theory of everything.
[01:00:05] Jordan Harbinger: Would you ask them then, "Hey, by the way, I'm working on this string theory thing, how close am I? Have you heard about anything that's similar to this?"
[01:00:13] Michio Kaku: Yeah, I would ask him, am I working on the wrong theory? Is it a theory of nothing or a theory of everything? Because they, of course, would come up against the same problem that Einstein came up with. And that is if we have four forces, why should there be four? There should be one, one super force that governs the entire universe. So I would ask them, do you believe in a super force, that is the God equation, one equation, which allows you to summarize all the other equations as a by-product. I would ask them that question because, well, you don't want to be on the wrong track. You don't want to waste your life chasing after something that doesn't exist.
[01:00:51] But I personally believe that it does exist. Why? Because on one sheet of paper, we can write down the theory of almost everything. We can write on the quantum theory and this Standard Model, very ugly, very contrived, very clumsy, but you can do it on one sheet of paper and it didn't have to be that way. The universe could have been messy. It could have been chaotic. It could have been random, but here we are sheet of paper that contains the theory of almost everything. And that's why I think we can get it down to one inch, not this large sheet of paper with all this gibberish, but one inch, that would be the theory that alluded Einstein and alluded the great philosophers for thousands of years, a theory of everything.
[01:01:36] Jordan Harbinger: There's a lot of questions I have about predictions and things like that. And I think maybe I'll leave them for another interview just because we have gone for a while here. But I do wonder what you think of simulation theory. You know, a lot of people who are experts in some areas are convinced that we are living in a simulation, but they're not really experts on this particular type of thing. Maybe.
[01:01:57] Michio Kaku: Well, let's take a look at the weather. How can you simulate the weather? Well, of course we have computers that can track individual atoms, but there are so many, so many atoms inside the weather that the smallest object, the smallest object that can simulate the weather is the weather itself. No matter how great your computer is. It cannot possibly compute the trillions upon trillions of atoms that go into the weather right outside your door. So in other words — and make the quantum theory makes it worse. The quantum theory says the electrons can be in many places at the same time, many worlds that can exist there. And so it's even worse once you go quantum mechanical.
[01:02:41] And that's why I think that we are not living in a simulation. The smallest object that can simulate you is you. No computer, no computer can stimulate you to the accuracy that you want. That doesn't mean we cannot have digital immortality. Digital immortality really is something that is well within the laws of physics. And that is to digitize everything known about you, your credit card transactions, your Instagram photographs, everything known about you, digitize to create a digitized soul.
[01:03:15] For example, I believe that one day soon somebody will digitize Einstein. All his letters, notes will be digitized and that will live forever. And I would love to talk to a digital version of Einstein and one day we will be digitized. So our great, great, great, great grandkids will know everything about what is known digitally about you. And you'll talk, you'll have a conversation with your great, great, great, great, great grandchildren.
[01:03:45] Now, our great, great grandparents, all they left was a record of their birth date in a book in a church and their death date. That's it. Two lines summarize everything known about your ancestor. That's sad.
[01:03:59] Jordan Harbinger: It is sad.
[01:04:00] Michio Kaku: Today, of course we have email, we have messages to girlfriends and boyfriends, and all that nonsense that goes on the Internet. We live with digital legacy. So I think digital immortality is something that is well within the laws of physics and it's happening even as we speak.
[01:04:19] Jordan Harbinger: Because if there's anything that I want to be my lasting legacy, it's going to be me arguing with some 12 year old kid on YouTube comments or on Twitter. Maybe I should pay more attention—
[01:04:28] Michio Kaku: It will live forever.
[01:04:29] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe I should pay more attention to the things I'm putting out in the universe. Like I'm glad that these shows will be digitized, but you know, when they're looking for my true personality, they're going to go, "Yeah. But look what he wrote, look at his YouTube comment. What an idiot, what an idiot Jordan Harbinger was back in thousand years ago."
[01:04:42] Michio Kaku: Well, you know, your great, great, great grandkids, they may be curious. "Legend has it that your great, great, great grandfather was a media personality." "Oh, good. Let me download what he said." And these things will last forever.
[01:04:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yup.
[01:04:54] Michio Kaku: It'll be forever on the Internet and that's why I think your soul, your soul could be digitized in that sense. Now, as a physicist, I like this idea of digital immortality, because we could put that digital immortality, your digital soul on a laser beam and shoot it to outer space. In one second, your digital soul will be on the moon in 20 minutes. You'll be on Mars. In four years at the speed of light, you'll be on the nearest star. And what is on the moon, a mainframe computer that will download your digitized essence, download your digital soul, and put that knowledge into an avatar. And that avatar looks just like you, except it can roam on the lunar surface. It doesn't require oxygen and is super powerful, just like Superman or Superwoman. And I think we will explore the universe as digitized beings.
[01:05:49] So let me stick my neck out, all this as well within the laws of physics. It'll be done, I think, within a few decades, within the century, for sure. Let me stick my neck out. I think that the aliens, that's how they travel, that they have a digital laser highway where the souls, the digitized souls of billions of aliens go racing across the Milky Way galaxy, and we are too stupid, too stupid to even know it. They even know they're right next to us. There could be a highway. A highway where millions of alien souls go racing across the universe at the speed of light. They don't use rocket ships. That's old hat. They don't use flying saucers. No, they ride on a light beam. At the speed of light, they go across the universe. I call this laser porting. And I think this is by far the most efficient way for aliens to go across the universe, not in flying saucers, but as pure energy at the speed of light digitize, the information, conquering the galaxy at the speed of light.
[01:06:55] Jordan Harbinger: That's really fascinating. So of course, the idea that we be more ourselves to something means that there's something to beam us to in the first place, right? Like if I want to beam myself to Mars, there has to be that mainframe and that dish receiver right on Mars.
[01:07:08] Michio Kaku: Right.
[01:07:08] Jordan Harbinger: But what if the aliens built one that we could beam ourselves to and we built one that they could beam themselves to somehow. Then they're already there then. So we just build the port on our own planet. And then we can build the ones in our own solar system eventually by getting there, but they could build one for us and we just go there. We don't have to go there first with rockets, or am I overthinking this?
[01:07:30] Michio Kaku: Well, the first-generation laser porting somebody has to go at sunlight speed to build the mainframe computer that will then download your digital soul so that you can then wander around that planet as an avatar. So somebody has to make the first generation.
[01:07:47] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:07:47] Michio Kaku: But once you make the first generation, then you can go zapping across the galaxy at the speed of light. Now, this also means that you can land at a hostile planet with a hostile atmosphere and breathe the hostile atmosphere because you've downloaded yourself into an avatar. So if somebody downloads themselves to the earth, what would they look like? They could look like anything they want because they're avatars. They're basically robots. They download their digital soul into whatever they want when they land on the planet earth.
[01:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: I'm waiting for QAnon to make this a part of their new conspiracy theory. And you're going to, it's going to involve you and me. Like Jordan Harbinger and Michio Kaku are aliens that have been themselves to earth. And this show was us accidentally letting go of our strategy.
[01:08:37] Michio Kaku: And we're just avatars. That's all we are.
[01:08:39] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. I mean, look, it's possible. I guess what I meant before was on another planet.
[01:08:43] We could be communicating via lights with aliens and we could build something on earth and they could build something over there and then we beam ourselves over there and they go, "Great. Thanks for coming. Good thing, this machine worked that we'd built. Now, we can start correcting the process and adding to it." Because, yeah, you're right. We would have to fly to the moon or Mars to build our own thing there. But if we find another planet with this civilization and it takes us a decade to communicate back and forth with light, they could send us the plans for that device. And we could build it here. Isn't that — this seems like the plot of a movie I probably have seen, although now I can't remember what it is probably starring Jodie Foster if I had to guess.
[01:09:16] Michio Kaku: Probably Contact.
[01:09:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, that one.
[01:09:18] Michio Kaku: When the alien zapped the blueprint for a wormhole machine that could then go faster than the speed of light. Now, laser porting that I mentioned uses light beams. So it is traveling at the speed of light. While, in the movie Contact, they actually go faster than the speed of light with a wormhole. And there's a catch, the energy necessary to drive a wormhole is the energy of a black hole. So you're talking about a type three civilization way ahead of us that can play with stars, play with black holes, and use them as gateways to go faster than the speed of light.
[01:09:53] The method I'm mentioning is more of type two civilization, sub lightspeed. But colonizing the galaxy at the speed of light using off-the-shelf known technology. There's nothing in what I said violates the laws of physics. This is well within the laws of physics. The only bottleneck is how long it will take to digitize the human mind, a few decades, but we're making progress in that direction already. And once that happens, we're going to digitize ourselves and send ourselves across the galaxy.
[01:10:23] Jordan Harbinger: Incredible. Okay, in closing here, when you make future predictions, how do you have confidence in those predictions? Because in 1950, whatever people are like we're going to be flying around in flying cars. But instead, I'm sending me doing the Macarena to another friend of mine in Germany on TikTok or in a video. There's no flying car. I'm just doing stupid stuff and filming with my little kid and sending videos. I mean, it's just completely different. What makes our current predictions or your predictions better than something that I read in a novel that my mom read as a kid? You know what I mean?
[01:11:02] Michio Kaku: Well, first of all, we already have flying cars. They're just very expensive and they're not very fuel efficient and jetpacks. We actually have jetpacks. Now, the Nazis during world war two, world war II perfected the jetpack with hydrogen peroxide. And they put their soldiers on jetpacks to go over bridges that were bombed by the allies. And so these things that we consider science-fiction actually are possible. Now, then the other question is what about the predictions that were made that turned out to be wrong? Like the paperless office. That was a huge mistake. We have more paper than ever, not a paperless office. And so how do we reconcile this?
[01:11:41] Well, when I was a child, not only was it mesmerized by Albert Einstein, I was also mesmerized by Flash Gordon. I used to watch the old Flash Gordon series on TVs every Saturday morning, and I was hooked. And then eventually I began to realize that they were really the same thing. That if you're a physicist, you understand exactly what Dr. Zarkov was doing with his machines. You know, what's possible, what's plausible, and what is impossible if you are a physicist.
[01:12:11] And so if you're a physicist, you can make predictions that have a reasonable chance of being true. I wrote a book called Physics of the Impossible, where I divided these predictions into at least three types. You have things that are possible, things that are plausible, and things that are simply impossible. And so you have things that you can categorize and then give a timeframe for if you are a physicist. And so being a physicist allows me to make predictions, some of them, of course, being incorrect. But for the most part, you can see the outline of where future technology will take us. And what I read my earlier books, I realized that my predictions came right on the dot. Right on the dot my predictions came true because if you know the laws of physics, you know, what is impossible and what is simply implausible.
[01:13:01] Jordan Harbinger: And that's how we know that it is possible for us to wake up on Mars tomorrow, at least that's possible.
[01:13:07] Michio Kaku: Possible, but not likely. Right. And I can calculate the probability of that happening. You would have to wait longer than the lifetime of the universe for that to happen, but it is theoretically possible.
[01:13:17] Jordan Harbinger: Michio Kaku, thank you so much. This has been fascinating. It's 66 minutes, I was right, really right over an hour. Talk about predictions.
[01:13:26] Michio Kaku: Oh my pleasure.
[01:13:26] Jordan Harbinger: Your predictions are more meaningful than my predictions. I think that's the outcome of that particular of that. Thank you. This is really great. I've been trying to get you on the show for years and I enjoyed this a lot.
[01:13:38] Now I've got some thoughts on this episode as usual, but before I get into that, you're about to hear a preview of my interview with the world's best counterfeiter.
[01:13:46] How long does it take to print $250 million.
[01:13:50] Frank Bourassa: Five months. It needs to be worthwhile. It's going to need to be perfect because perfect, go big. One day for no particular reason, I was driving and thinking and I stopped at a red light. It just hit me out of nowhere. You know, we're chasing something to make money from, sell something, make something, do something. All we do is to translate that into money. When we wake up in the morning and do that.
[01:14:18] Jordan Harbinger: I needed to do something for money, but why don't I just literally make money. One-million dollars in $20 bills is about 50 kilos. So $250 million is 12,500 kilos or over eight Toyota Camrys or six Ford F150s that is multiple metrics sh*t tons of cash. You must've been f*cking stoked, man because you knew you were going to put $20 bills all over all of that and then just never work again.
[01:14:53] Frank Bourassa: Yes, when I did bring it in and then I slammed the door shut, I was confident enough that everything I did off to that, I hadn't done any mistakes so I was good to go. By design, there are people specifically looking for you all the time. This is all they do. If you get suspected in any way, you're going to say you're done. You can tell them whatever you want. They're not dummies. I mean, this is as high as the gold. This is top of a line.
[01:15:21] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Frank Bourassa printed his own fortune and got away with it, check out episode 488 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:15:31] All right. I've got a bit of a close here because there were some questions I didn't get to on air, but I got to them afterwards. So I'm just going to go through some of these with you because they are super interesting in my opinion. So as he says, in the conclusion of the book, are we really just flatlanders waiting for proof of a suspected extra dimension?
[01:15:47] Now, there are four forces governing the universe. I talked about this in the show open, gravity, electromagnetism so light, and the two nuclear forces, the weak force, the strong force. In three dimensions, there's just not enough room to fit all the theories together into a single theory, but if we have higher dimensions beyond three, perhaps up to 11 dimensions, which obviously I can't really fathom, and neither can you most likely, then all of the four forces collapse into one super force. That's literally what it's called. These dimensions cannot be seen or felt by us since we evolved in a three-dimensional universe without the ability to even visualize higher dimensions. But in 11 dimensions, all the forces fold up into one force.
[01:16:28] And as he said, during the show, the universe is like a chess game. After 2000 years, we've finally figured out how the pawns move, how the knights move. So Dr. Kaku thinks, in some sense, the ultimate destiny of humanity is tied to finding what he calls the God equation. And we've heard him say that all of biology can be explained using chemistry. All of chemistry can be explained using physics, and all of physics can be explained by relativity and the quantum theory. And it is truly remarkable as he stated during the show that all of physics can be described at the fundamental level by two sets of equations that fit neatly on one page.
[01:17:03] So all those huge chalkboards we see in movies with tons of equations on them, they're not even really necessary. A lot of that is just sort of hyperbolic or like explaining something down to minute levels of detail that really aren't necessary. Dr. Kaku further said that it was just a remarkable fact that the universe is much more simple than we first thought. That fundamental forces of nature can be unified under the God equation that he is searching for.
[01:17:27] So of course, that is why he is searching for that guide equation. And I also asked him for some future predictions as well. We will be able to connect our brains to machines. We did a show about that with Bryan Johnson in episode 223 about human brain and machine interfaces. He thinks we'll be able to send emotions over the Internet, not just emojis, but the actual emotion itself, not the words that trigger the emotion, the emotion, which is incredible.
[01:17:51] Also, Dr. Kaku thinks we'll be able to detect and eliminate clusters of cancer cells like a decade before they become a tumor and cancer will be like the common cold, probably even less annoying because we won't even have any symptoms. It'll just be like, "Oh, thanks for coming in and drinking your nanobots. They killed 10,000 cancer cells that were in a decade and a half going to become pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, whatever it is. And they're gone now and you've excreted these bots safely." It's just incredible what the future holds. And I hope that all of you live long enough to see it.
[01:18:22] Once again, big, thank you to Dr. Michio Kaku. The book title is The God Equation. He's got a lot of books, all of them very interesting. Links to that will be in the show notes. Please use our website links if you buy the book. It does help support the show. A lot of you do that. Most of you do that. There's a few outliers. You know who you are. Please do use those website links. Worksheets for the episode in the show notes. Transcripts in the show notes. There's a video of this interview going up on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or hit me on LinkedIn.
[01:18:52] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using systems, software, and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute Networking course. The course is free. It's at jordanharbinger.com/course. Do dig the well before you get thirsty folks. Most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course. They contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:19:12] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. You know some science buffs, share it with them. You know some people who've loved space and future predictions, share this with them. I hope you find something great in every episode of this show, please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:19:47] And special thanks to Hyundai for sponsoring this episode.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.