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NARRATOR: Hang onto your hats because you're about to go on a heck of a ride through time, space and the multiverse. Dr. Michio Kaku has been described as today's Einstein in many elite circles. Add his genius for comedy and passion for the new frontier of string field theory, of which he is cofounder and you have a veritable standup theoretical physicist comedian.
Dr. Kaku takes subjects that are nearly impossible for our current minds to understand and reduces them to common analogies bringing incredibly exciting new possibilities for mankind into clearer focus. All I can say is, have fun with this one.
INTERVIEWER: You hopscotch humanity through our phases of evolution, from where we are now which seems somewhat primitive on the large cosmic scale, and through this journey you talk about our interface, our conscious interface, with technology, including the world of computers etc.
Can you speak to that a little bit right now in terms of where you think we're going in the not-too-distant future in our interface with technology and then we're going to go on from there.
KAKU: Well, we physicists have asked about what civilization will look like a hundred, a thousand, a million years beyond our technology, and when we look in outer space we actually look for paradigms that we may see.
We look for what are called type 1, type 2 and type 3 civilizations.
We don't look for little green men, we look for the energy signature of planetary, stellar and galactic civilizations.
INTERVIEWER: Where are we in that mix right now?
KAKU: Well, first of all, Type 1 civilization is a planetary civilization. They control the weather: they control earthquakes, volcanoes, anything planetary, they would control. Sooner or later, they exhaust the power of a planet.. hurricanes, tornadoes are child's play for them, and they eventually start to use the power of their star: not just to get a suntan, but to play with solar flares. To literally play with the entire star, to ignite stars, to play with stars, like we play with coal or fire. Eventually, they exhaust the power of a star and they become galactic.
They begin to colonize huge sections of the galaxy and they start to use black holes for example as their primary energy supply.
Now, if you look at this scale, then you have have to wonder, where are we?
We are type 0. We get our energy from dead plants... oil and coal.However, with a calculator, you can calculate when we will advance to these various stages.
If we simply grow at 3% a year, which is very modest economic growth, then energy consumption also grows at 3% and we will hit type 1 in about 100 years.
Now you can already see the emergence of a type 1 civilization everywhere you go. When I open the newspaper, every single headline talks about the birth pang of a type 1 civilization being born right before our eyes.
INTERVIEWER: What's that look like?
KAKU: First of all, the internet, what is the internet? The internet is a type 1 telephone system. That's all it is. We are privileged to be alive to see the birth of a new planetary type 1 telephone system.
The language of type 1 is already out there, most elites already speak English. You can go anywhere on the planet Earth, scientific elite, business elite, cultural elite, and they all speak English, so we're already beginning to see a planetary language being born.
A planetary economy is also being born. Look at the European Union. These nations have killed each other for the last 5000 years, ever since the ice age melted, ended, and why are they banding together to form the European Union?
To oppose us. And who's us? We are NAFTA, okay? So you see the emergence of a type 1 economy emerging.
INTERVIEWER: And globalization and outsourcing is a part of this?
KAKU: A teeny weenie part, just a small part. People react to globalization but they don't realize it's much bigger than just globalization.
We also see the beginning of a type 1 culture. You can go anywhere on the planet Earth and show people two pictures of a man and a woman instantly recognizable by anyone on the planet Earth: Madonna and Arnold Schwarzzenegger.
So, my God. You now know what type 1 culture looks like: it's going to be rock and roll, blue jeans, rap music, hip hop, youth culture. That's going to be the currency, the language that this type 1 civilization is going to speak, going to enjoy.
So we're already beginning to see the beginnings of a type 1 culture, entertainment, language, energy supply, ah politics, the beginning of a language, and the beginning of, just the beginning of a type 1 system.
Now, we are type zero. So the transition from type 0 to type 1 is the most important transition in all of human civilization.
Think about it.
It's the most dangerous of all transitions because there are some people who don't want to be in type 1. They instinctively in their gut know that a type 1 system will be a system of different discourses, of different ideas and clashes of ideas and so on and so forth and these people who don't want this transition are the terrorists.
In their gut, the terrorists know that we're headed for type 1. They can't articulate it, they don't know the larger outlines of it, but in their gut they don't like it. They would rather be in type -1.
So, however, I believe that this transition from type 0 to type 1 is the most important transition in the history of human civilization.
And we are privileged to be alive to see the beginning of this transition. Our children and our grandchildren will complete the greatest transition in the history of the human race.
INTERVIEWER: Is this not inspired by absolute necessity because we can't live off of dead animals and dead plants and fossil fuels indefinitely, is that kind of a ... point?
KAKU: It's being forced upon us. In other words some people say let's stop the clock, maybe we don't want to be a part of a planetary civilization. It's too late.
Look at the economies of the world. Like I said, the European Union is forming without anyone pushing them in that direction because they know it's either the European Union for Europe or else they're going to be wiped out by competition from the United States, China and India. And we already see the young people of the world yearning to get on the internet, yearning to find out what other young people are doing, 'cause young people instinctively know this is their future. They instinctively know "I want to be part of this future."
And so, I think the terrorists would like to prevent the transition, but I don't think they're going to but it is going to be a rocky transition.
Because we do have nuclear weapons. We do have biotech technology, designer germs, and so it may not be a transition that's fully guaranteed.
However, it's a very interesting transition because even filmmakers have been interested in this transition.
Think of a movie that talks about the most scientifically realistic encounter with another intelligent life form in the universe. In this movie, we realize that Capt. Kirk in the Enterprise is the most inefficient way to explore outer space, hopping from planet to planet.
There are 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Perhaps half of those stars have planets. That's 50 million planets in our galaxy alone.
The most efficient way for a type 3 galactic civilization to explore their back yard is with [binomide][sp??] probes
bi*** probes are self replicating machines, they're robots.
They land on the moon, because the moon is stable, there's no erosion, you can stay there for millions of years, and it makes a carbon copy of itself.
And in fact, it makes a factory that makes millions of copies of itself.
These robot probes then shoot out and land on other moons.
Each one makes a million copies of itself on a moon and then shoots out a million more.
So starting with one you have a million probes landing on a million moons. And then you got a million million probes. And then a million million million probes, until you have a sphere expanding at the speed of light containing these  probes.
Now, what do they do? They land on the moon and they simply wait.
They wait for a type 0 civilization to become type 1. Type 0 is not so interesting, you have a lot of fights, a lot of wars, a lot of competing ideas and stuff.
Type 1 is planetary. It's very civilized. Very high level of science. Very high level of an economy.
And so the probe simply waits until the civilization makes a transition from type 0 to type 1. Now where have we seen that before? We've all seen this before: this is the movie 2001.
Because Stanley Kubrick in the first five minutes of his film interviewed all the top astronomers, cosmologists and physicists and asked them a question: "What is the most realistic encounter with a type 3 civilization?"
And we laid it out:
They would land on our moon. Our moon is stable: no erosion.
They would then build factories waiting for a type 0 civilization to become type 1.
And if you saw the movie, there is that instant where the astronaut touches the monolith, and he goes like this [puts hands on ears] because an alarm clock goes off, and the alarm clock signals back to the home race "we have come of age."
Well, Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke were off by a hundred years.
It's not going to be ah, the year 2001, it's going to be 2101. In a hundred years we will be type 1. We will have an operating moon base. How long will it take for us to get an operating moon base? 24 hour, 24/7 moon base? Another hundred years.
And so, I think we're right on schedule.
So, maybe on our moon, there's already... who knows? there's already perhaps a presence of an extraterrestrial visitation.
INTERVIEWER: Well there have been, there have been photographs and essays etc. written on the subject of having potential discoveries of structures already existing on the moon, how true might that be?
KAKU: Yeah, well, you see, we have no operating moon base, we simply landed on the moon a few times and therefore we don't know what kind of energy sources there are, we haven't scanned the moon, we don't really have a good picture of what's inside the moon or what probes may exist there.
There could be a probe from a type 3 galactic civilization sitting on the moon and we'd never know it.
Plus they may have nanotechnology. With nanotechnology you don't have to have Captain Kirk and the Enterprise.
They could be as big as a bread box. You could have miniaturized probes that are part organic, part DNA, and part silicon. A merger of carbon and silicon in a device perhaps no bigger than, ah, you know a bread box, sitting on our moon just waiting for us to make contact with it.
Waiting for us to become type one.
INTERVIEWER: What about the, since we're on Hollywood, what about The Matrix, you know, that really engaged an awful lot of minds, particularly those in their 20s and 30s.
What is your experience with those kinds of potential realities. How do you describe where that came from and what that's leading us to.
KAKU: Well there are two aspects of The Matrix.
One is whether or not it's physically possible to have virtual reality indistinguishable from ordinary reality, and second of all, will the machines take over?
Okay, so let's talk about them one at a time.
Our most advanced robots have the collective wisdom of a retarded cockroach. Not an ordinary cockroach.. a retarded lobotomized cockroach.
INTERVIEWER: So we're not endangered yet. Go ahead.
KAKU: For my book Visions I interviewed 150 of the world's top scientists,
these are the directors of all the major scientific laboratories. These are Nobel laureates. I interviewed Rodney Brooks, who is the director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence laboratory, the number one laboratory in the world. And I asked him, well, how long will it take before our most advanced robots become as intelligent as us?
And he said, well, first of all our most advanced robot is on Mars. It's his godchild, in some sense. It's the Mars Rover. It's a real automaton.
So I asked him, well, how intelligent is your grandchild, the Mars Rover?
And he said, well, you know, a cockroach, you know, a slow cockroach, a slow-learning cockroach, okay.
Now a cockroach, you know, on a table you raise your hand, the cockroach scans your hand, says danger, danger, danger runs into the cracks.
I know, I used to live in a house with lots of cockroaches.
However, you know the Mars Rover, if you were to raise your tentacle to the Mars Rover on Mars, it would scan the tentacle and say...
Is that a dog? No, not a dog.
Is that a giraffe? No, not a dog.
6 hours later it would still be wondering, you know, is that a cow?
Meanwhile the alien would have gone whack.
It takes 6 hours for our most advanced robots to walk across the room, 6 hours for them to scan the room. The robot has to figure out where's up where's down
Here is a rectangle is it a table or is it a square?
or is it a pie plate what is it?
The robot would scan a cup and it would understand all the triangles and circles and cylinders of the cup perfectly, it would see it better than us, but it would take hours for it to finally say.... ahhh. cup! Cup!
Know what I'm saying? Robots don't have common sense. They don't know that water is wet, they don't know that Mothers are older than their daughters, they don't know that animals are not like paint, they don't know that when you die you don't come back the next day, they don't know that strings can pull they cannot push, they don't know that sticks can push, they cannot pull. Robots don't know that.
INTERVIEWER: So they're not poised to take over just yet. But let's talk about a more realistic interface with technology, which is the interface between human consciousness and say nanotechnology and the world of computers, you talk about this a little bit in Visions.
KAKU: Well, there is going to be a gradual merger of silicon and carbon in the future, okay. Ah, it's already happening. People already living with artificial parts in thei
[edit on 28-6-2007 by mdear]
in their body. And, ah, we love it, because either that or else be paralyzed. Either that or else not have use of your arms, your legs.
So, um, and also DNA technology is getting to the point where it will eventually interface with silicon. Now of course this is far in the future. And I think that society has to democratically, democratically have a consensus as to how far to push this thing, okay. So I think that is going to be one direction that we're going to go into.
Another direction is pure silica. Asimov wrote about the three laws of robotics to protect us against dangerous machines.
Our most advanced robot has the intelligence of a cockroach. I suspect in about twenty years they'll probably be as intelligent as a dog or a cat.
In perhaps thirty or forty years, they'll probably be as intelligent as a monkey. At that point they could get a little dangerous because monkeys do have their own agenda, they have their own plans, their own goals, okay?
Dogs and cats may not but monkeys probably do. At that point I think we have plenty of time to put a chip in their brain to shut them off if they have any murderous thoughts.
So I think there's plenty of time we don't have to say oh my God, you know, one day a robot will wake up it will be conscious and take over the world.
It will be decades, of experimentation with cat-like, dog-like robots leading to monkey-like robots before we have to worry about that.
INTERVIEWER: Let's jump now then from that to the subject of your latest book, um, Parallel Worlds and talking about going from a concept of universe to multiverse. What does this mean, and what does this, what does it mean to be multi-dimensional and how is this something that we can take into consideration in our lives now as we're struggling to go out of a 0 to a 1?
KAKU: Well, right now we're rewriting all the textbooks in astronomy and cosmology.
Cosmology has gone through three revolutions. The first revolution was initiated by Galileo, who turned a telescope to the sky and revealed for the first time the true splendor of the night sky.
The second revolution was in the 1920s with the giant telescopes like Mt. Wilson, where Edwin Hubble showed that the universe was expanding.
So we have this picture, this picture that the universe is in some sense a soap bubble of some sort, and it's expanding and it's slowing down, and the soap bubble is made out of atoms, because everywhere we look we see atoms of hydrogen, helium, and so on and so forth.
Well that picture, we now know is wrong.
Every single cosmology textbook on the earth is being rewritten because we're now entering the third era: satellites. Satellites have forced us to confront the fact that we may not be alone. That our universe may not be made out of atoms.
So first of all, our satellites have shown that most of the universe is not made out of atoms. Every textbook is wrong. Every chemistry class is wrong. Your high school chemistry teacher is wrong in saying that everything is made out of atoms.
We now know that most of the universe is made out of dark matter and dark energy.
Dark matter makes up 23% of the universe.
Dark energy makes up 73% of the universe.
The stars make up 4% of the universe.
And what about us? The higher elements?
We make up .03% of the universe. We are by far the vast minority of the universe. The universe is not made up of atoms.
And our soap bubble is not slowing down. It's speeding up. It's careening out of control.
We now know that the universe is undergoing what is called [?] expansion
It's exponentially expanding. It's going to blow out. You can even see the end of the universe, and I'll talk about how the universe will eventually die.
As I quote now from the great philosopher, Woody Allen. Woody Allen once said, "Eternity is an awful long time, especially toward the end."
[edit on 28-6-2007 by mdear]
Well, toward the end it's not going to be pretty. The universe will freeze over in a big freeze.
The last component of that picture of cosmology is also wrong. It's not just one soap bubble. We now believe there are other soap bubbles out there.
INTERVIEWER: Soap bubbles that we perchance can't see because it's not part of the same .03% of what we are, right?
KAKU: Well, our soap bubble, we're stuck to our soap bubble like flies on flypaper.
We cannot leave our soap bubble. Gravity can go between soap bubbles but we're stuck on our soap bubble. But we think there are other soap bubbles. Now they would be invisible because light only moves (light is also trapped like flypaper... flies on flypaper) light only goes on the surface of the soap bubble.
So if there's another soap bubble right above you, you'd never know it.
Now, where have you seen that before? That's in the famous novel The Invisible Man. In the Invisible Man, H. G. Wells gives you a reason for being invisible.
He says it flatly. The fourth dimension: hyperspace.
H. G. Wells says that we live on a plane. We spend all our time thinking that our plane is everything there is. But just above us there could be another plane. The invisible man is invisible because light passes right beneath him, okay.
Now when I was growing up in San Francisco I grew up, ah, visiting the Japanese tea garden. My mother would spend hours, ah, with me in the Japanese tea garden and I'd look at the carp swimming just beneath the lily pads, and I would spend hours looking at them, I would put my nose right up to the fish and they couldn't see me.
Their eyes would point to the side. Their universe was a two dimensional universe. And then I imagined, what would it be like to be a fish?
And I said to myself, what a fantastic world. I can move forward, backward, left, and right, but the concept of up... up made no sense. There is no world of up. Your eyes point to the side, the lily pads show you the end of the universe. There is no world of up.
And so then I imagined a fish who was a scientist, a scientist fish.
INTERVIEW: You must have been a trippy little kid.
KAKU: Yeah, a little scientist kid living/swimming in the pond and the scientist would say Bah! Humbug! There's no world of up. There's only the pond. What you see is what there is. What you can measure is what there is. The pond is everything, the pond is all, there's nothing as the world of up.
And so then one day I imagined reaching down and grabbing one of the fish, the scientist fish, lifting the scientist fish up into the world of up.
What would he see?
He would see beings moving without fins: a new law of physics.
Beings breathing without water: a new law of biology.
And then I would put the fish back in the pond and what a story he would tell his friends. He disappeared from the universe and wound up in a world of up.
Now today we physicists believe that we are the fish. We spend all our time saying Bah! Humbug! There's only the world that you can see and measure. There's forward backward left right up down and that's all there is.
The universe is what we can measure.
Well, our textbooks are now having to be rewritten.
The WMAT[?] satellite currently orbiting the earth.
Its data is consistent with what is called inflation.
Inflation was proposed by a good friend of mine, Alan Gould at MIT, he eventually may win the Nobel prize for this theory.
Inflation says that the universe expanded in a hypercharged big bang, but it could happen again, and again, and again. And the soap bubble can fission in half and bud and sprout a baby soap bubble. Universes can have babies.
Stephen Hawking calls them baby universes.
And we believe that our universe may have come from a parent universe. And perhaps our universe also buds other universes.
Now, what about the mathematics, what about the tests?
[edit on 28-6-2007 by mdear]
Well, that's where what I do for a living comes into the picture. What I work on for a living is something called string theory. I'm one of the pioneers in the subject, I'm the cofounder of string field theory, which is one of the main branches of string theory
Now string theory says that it is the theory of everything.
Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life chasing after an equation perhaps no more than one inch long that would allow him to read the mind of God.
That was the ultimate goal, the holy grail of physics, an equation one inch long, just like E = mc2.
E = mc2 unlocked the secret of the stars. That's why the stars twinkle. That's why our sun burns. That's why we have energy on the earth.
Everything on the earth, all energy on the earth ultimately comes from E = mc2.
INTERVIEWER: That's what your book titles would indicate. It's time to go beyond Einstein.
KAKU: That's right, when you go beyond Einstein, now we now believe string theory is perhaps the theory of everything. When we smash atoms, we find more particles, lots and lots of particles. So, why should Nature be so malicious as to give us 1000s of subatomic particles?
In fact the situation was so bad that J Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb once said, that the Nobel Prize in physics should go to the physicist who does *not* discover a new particle.
We're drowning in particles! When I got my Ph.D. at Berkeley, I had to memorize all the names of these g*** f** particles... kappa mesons, lambda particles, pi mezons, tau mezons, hadrons, leptons. I couldn't get my Ph.D. unless -bozons and hadrons- I couldn't get my Ph.D. unless I memorized all the names of all these particles.
I hope that in the future to get your Ph.D. a young graduate student will simply say: string.
We think that a vibrating string has notes.
Each note corresponds to a subatomic particle.
If you can get a microscope and see into the electron, you would see a rubber band. A rubber band.
And you kick the rubber band and it vibrates in a different mode.
It becomes a neutrino.
You twang it and it becomes a quark.
You twang it, it becomes a lepton.
Twang it, it becomes a proton.
Just a little string.
So what are we? The subatomic particles are the notes on vibrating strings.
What is physics? Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony you can write on strings.
Well, then what is chemistry? Chemistry is nothing but the melodies you can play on vibrating strings.
Well, what is the universe? The universe is a symphony of strings.
And therefore, what is the mind of God? The mind of God in this picture is cosmic music resonating through 10- maybe 11-dimensional hyperspace.
These strings are not ordinary strings. These strings force physical reality to be 11 dimensional.
INTERVIEW: What does the implication of-- we're not just third dimensional we already heard from the Invisible Man scenario that we can recognize a fourth dimension. What does this mean to us?
KAKU: This means that our universe is probably a soap bubble, a three dimensional soap bubble floating in 11 dimensional hyperspace.
That if we were to leave our universe to go to another universe, we would have to take a detour through the 11th dimension. Now, I think that at one point when the universe dies, this may be our only salvation.
People ask me the question, well, your unified field theory. The theory of everything. Is it gonna get me better color TV? will I get better cable reception? I mean, what is there for numero uno, okay? Well, I tell them that parts of the unified field theory do give them better color television.
After all, where does color TV come from?
It comes from unified field theory.
Where does better, you know TV reception come from?
Unified field theory.
But the ultimate use of the unified field theory is to one day leave our universe.
You see, when a black hole forms it's a hole, and everything falls into it. It's the ultimate roach motel.
Stars fall in, they never fall out. But even kids tell- ask their father. They say, Daddy, daddy, if everything falls into a black hole, where does it go?
Well, there's one theory that says that where it goes is to a white hole at the other end of a black hole.
So think of this soap bubble sprouting a baby soap bubble, that's a black hole.
Matter falls in to the black hole and sprouts out the other end to create a white hole.
Now our universe is probably a white hole.
How would you know a white hole if you looked at it?
First of all, it would be expanding. Things would be rushing out. And it'd be very cool as it cooled, and by golly, doesn't that look like our universe? Our universe is probably a white hole.
Now in six years time we may be able to prove this theory. In six years' time NASA is going to launch LISA into orbit: Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.
It's the most advanced satellite system ever conceived of by the human mind.
Three satellites orbiting the sun connected by laser beams 3 million miles across... dwarfing the planet Earth. Think about this: a satellite system, a triangle orbiting the sun, much much bigger than the planet Earth. You could put the planet Earth as a dot inside this triangle.
The shockwave from the big bang is still reverberating our soap bubble, it will detect gravity waves from the instant of creation.
We're going to get baby pictures of the infinite universe. A family album. Baby pictures.
This satellite is so accurate that it should be able to see the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord perhaps connecting our baby universe to perhaps a parent universe.
INTERVIEWER: We're at the Science and Consciousness conference. What is the implication of this in terms of our own awakening into- our own individual expanded consciousness, say individual I mean interconnectedness as well, but what does this mean to us?
KAKU: Several things. First of all, as I mentioned, only a type 3 civilization could fully utilize the power of this theory. We're talking about the ability to bend time into a pretzel, rip the fabric of space time, leap into the 11th dimension. This is the power of a god.
That's the power of the Planck energy. The Planck energy is the energy of a type 3 civilization.
A type 3 civilization would be able to open gateways... open baby universes... create a baby universe in a laboratory. They would have the power of a god.
That's what this whole sequence is building up to. So when I talk about type 0, type 1, type 2, type 3... If we don't blow ourselves up in this whole process of evolving from a type 0 civilization, eventually we'll become masters of space and time. That's one aspect.
The other aspect is more practical, that is, Where do we fit into the larger scheme of things?
This theory, string theory, is a quantum theory. In fact, it is the ultimate quantum theory. And all quantum theories say that everything vibrates. Everything is made out of a wave, and because of that, these waves intertangle with each other. This is called entanglement.
And entanglement means that our waves entangle with waves on the other side of the galaxy, instantly, in fact. We are all connected via this invisible web.
Einstein at first didn't like this picture.
Because if you were to move in one part of the universe, the other part of the universe will also respond to you, faster than the speed of light. Einstein at first didn't like it, but it's been shown in the laboratory.
This the famous EPR experiment. It's been shown many times now that entanglement does in fact make possible vibrations traveling faster than the speed of light.
Now, of course, the information traveling faster than the speed of light is random information.
You cannot send Morse code this way. You cannot send Tomorrow's stock exchange this way.
But what it does mean is that we are all entangled. Our wave forms are entangled with other wave forms.
And I should also point out, in all fairness, there is one unfinished aspect of the foundation of quantum theory. The quantum theory is the most successful theory of all time, even more accurate than Newton's laws of gravity. It works in the atomic realm. But it's based on a foundation of sand.
There's the famous cat problem. The cat problem is the most profound paradox in the history of the universe. At the present time, no one has a solution for the cat problem.
INTERVIEWER: What is the cat problem?
KAKU: This is the famous Schrodinger cat problem. Schrodinger was one of the founders of the quantum theory, a theory that has been tested to one part in ten billion.
You can predict the power, the behavior of atoms to incredible accuracy. That's how we have transistors. That's how we have the internet. That's why we have laser beams, because of the quantum theory.
However, the laser beam, transistors, the internet, is based on a foundation of sand because Nobel laureates still argue over the cat problem.
Let's say I put a cat in a box, and the question is: is the cat dead or alive?
Well, you don't really know, for sure, until you look at the cat.
Let's say the cat is connected to a gun...
and the gun is connected to a geiger counter...
and the geiger counter is connected to uranium...
Well, to describe uranium, we have to write the wave function of uranium which has disintegrated, and uranium which hasn't disintegrated.
50% chance maybe that it will disintegrate, 50% chance that it hasn't disintegrated.
That's the quantum theory, you work in probabilities, right? The atomic bomb is based on this theory. The atomic bomb wouldn't work if the quantum theory were wrong.
But now hook the uranium to a gun. Well, is the cat dead or alive?
Well, you have to add the wave function of a dead cat and add it to the wave function of a live cat simultaneously, so the cat is neither dead nor alive.
Now you may say to yourself, Well that's stupid. How can a cat be both dead or alive?
Well, the only way to tell is to open the box.
KAKU: And then the cat then collapses into a dead cat or a live cat. Well, that means that observation determines existence. So, you're now left with a very horrible absolutely incredible paradox:
EITHER the act of observation determines the existence of the cat OR the cat is simultaneously dead and alive.
Both alternatives are mind-blowing.
Both alternatives shake philosophy to the very core.
Let's take the first alternative: Observation determines existence.
But observation requires consciousness.
Therefore consciousness makes an observation, and then we say the cat is alive.
Well, I determine the fact the cat is alive.
Well who determines me? Somebody has to look at me to determine that I'm alive and I'm not dead.
Well, who determines him? Somebody has to look at him!
And this is called Wigner's friend. Wigner was the winner of the Nobel prize, he helped to build the atomic bomb, and this is called Wigner's friend: I have an infinite sequence of Wigner's friend. So who's the ultimate Wigner's friend? God.
Starting with quantum theory, which is the most objective, reductionist theory of all time, you go all the way up to God.
Now, let's say you don't want that.
Let's say you don't believe in this Nobel Prize winner.
Let's say you believe in the other theory.
The other theory is even worse!
The other theory is many worlds.
Most Nobel laureates now are leaning toward the second.
Steve Weinberg, winner of the Nobel prize has said the following: