Adventures in Everyday


Beyond Einstein
March 10, 2008, 10:49 pm
Filed under: academic, internet, local, science

Physics of the Impossible

    From teleportation to the routine use of force fields, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals — and the limits — of the laws of physics as we know them today. He explains how: The science of optics, electromagnetism, and light may be able to be used to simulate invisibility; Enhancing the sensitivity of MRI devices may someday allow us to read minds; Magnetic fields, superconductors, and nanotechnologies may eventually enable scientists to levitate an elevator in outer space.

    This is a special lecture by theoretical physicist Dr Michio Kaku, taking place at Caltech later this week. Michio Kaku is a very well respected scientist who is best known for his discussions of future technology. Below is his BBC documentary Visions of the Future:The Quantum Revolution.

    Mercy, who wouldn’t want to attend a presentation by a speaker like this? But alas; Caltech is far, far away from our isolated Manitoba.

    But don’t worry!

    There are plenty of great special presentations taking place right here at the University of Manitoba every week. I’m serious. The atmosphere at these talks can be quite inviting – you’ll quite likely want to ask questions, or even hang back after the talk and speak with the presenter. I’ll list a few presentations that I’ve had the pleasure of attending recently:

    Here’s a snippet of some presentations that I wish I had seen:

    And the list goes on. In fact, I’m quite disappointed with how poorly the University advertises these presentations. Does anyone know about them? The answer is no. I’m often only one of six people at these presentations – often I appear to be the only person less than 30 years old.

    A solution

    Are you interested in attending talks like these?

    A better solution is to use an rss reader (I firmly endorse the Firefox plugin, Brief).

    • Here is the U of M events rss feed (don’t ask me how I found the feed because I can no longer find a link to it anywhere).

    How can the university get away with advertising these events so poorly? I don’t know. But rejoice! For you are now part of the informed minority!

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    4 Comments so far
    Leave a comment

    Why would you show me the first one when I have work to do?! Now I want to watch the rest and not do work. Bad Brendan. Seriously neat stuff in that video. Why don’t things like that make the news more often? Maybe I just don’t watch the news.

    I’ve heard of those lectures. There are fascinating sounding Classical ones on Sundays, but right in the middle of when I have to work. Who does that?! I was mad, because I wanted to go to all of them, but can’t go to even one! The rest I’ve only heard of through you, but if you intend to go to one that I might like you should let me know and I might come with you.

    Comment by Jen

    Holy shit! Personal Fabricators!? Can you imagine what that would do to society?? 1/2 of the world population would be unemployed! But would it matter? As long as they had a fabricator they could survive…would anyone need money anymore? What would people DO? There would be such a small availability and need for jobs in any kind of commercial field. That might just be fantastic. It would be entirely different place. No more starving people. No, you would need money still. But how would anyone make it? There would be a much smaller range of job options I would think. You could be a doctor, or a scientist, a researcher, archaeologist, teacher, etc., but any job that produces something that could be made by a fabricator would be obsolete. A whole new set of horizons would open up! Life would be entirely different! They’d have to come up with a new way of controlling the desires of the masses. I want to live through that revolution! They’d better get on that one, I want to see how it turns out.

    Comment by Jen

    Nice long comment Jen!

    I like to imagine the massively multiplayer game Second Life as a very crude experiment on what people would do in a society where anything could be made instantly at will. In that game (i don’t play it myself) people can indeed make anything they want, but you find that people generally don’t want the same things that everyone else has. Consequently, there is a huge market for designers, modelers, scripters, and artists.

    In Second Life people can still use real-world money to purchase things, however, and this would not be the case in a perfectly fabricatable world like we’re imagining. In such a world as that, i can only see innovation, creativity, inventions and ideas as the only sort of “currency” available to people.

    Just my thoughts.

    Comment by Boehr Himself

    Brendan…are you and Jen the only people reading the stuff you write on this site? It is interesting though. I had no understanding of superconductors being used in the transportation industry..I thought only for conducting electricity with no loss/heat creation. Talk to you soon..Dad

    Comment by Anonymous




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