Ever wondered what's beyond our universe?  So did Dr. Michio Kaku, beginning at the young age of 8, and it led him to try and complete Einstein's unfinished work: a theory of everything.  Dr. Kaku is a world-renowned physicist and a co-author of String Field Theory,  which some claim is the closest we've come to understanding the code of the universe.  In our fascinating conversation, Dr. Kaku and I explore multiverses, measure consciousness, and question the nature of reality...and cats. 
United States


00:00:00I remember long time ago when I was a teenager
00:00:08and our family was having a vacation in the desert in Rajasthan India our bedroom was literally the terrorists of a house in a remote part of the desert
00:00:23and I was getting ready to sleep looking at the Star-Spangled sky with literally uncountable Stars twinkling in the sky and I talked to him to me
00:00:41have you made up all this whole thing is the universal experience is it real
00:00:52so it's a true joy to get to ask these questions now with someone who may actually have someone says what you see and what you feel is not necessary reality I like to think of myself as a child looking at fish in a pond and wondering what would it be like to be a fish in a two-dimensional Universe where the entire universe but this what you could see in a flap on a billion trillion Stars
00:01:30I see beautiful diamonds shining and waving
00:01:39and it was a scientist a scientist fish who lived in that pond he would say bah humbug there's nothing outside the pond the universe is two dimensional universe is when you can see and touch there's no world of up the world of up the third dimension does not exist Universe can't be infinite cuz what is infinity a number goes on forever but if it's finite then what's beyond that
00:02:13we are the fish we live in a three-dimensional World thinking that our fish pond is the universe says it actually is while the mathematics in the physics is taking us into a world beyond the pond and so we can't be arrogant this think that what we see and feel is reality
00:02:39I'm Deepak Chopra and this is infinite potential where we explore what makes us conscious beings and why it matters that we are
00:02:55my guest today is dr. Michio Kaku one of our leading theoretical physicist a best-selling author a claim public speaker and is the co-founder of string field Theory witches as we will get to an attempt to explain everything in the universe
00:03:15yes everything let me say something that is not universally recognized by all physicists but the only game in town is string theory that is incredible fantastic mathematicians have been shocked absolutely bowled over by the mathematics pouring out of string theory but it cannot be proven directly this is the theory of the universe which we get to that
00:03:45I can warn you that there will be some match some signs and some big Ideas ahead but stay with us it's worth it
00:03:56before we get into it while you have a very interesting family story I would love to start their you grew up in this country right that's right in fact my parents were born in California they were citizens but of course that didn't stop them from being rounded up at the beginning of World War II
00:04:18December 7th 1941
00:04:23a date which will live in infamy
00:04:30they were only given just a few weeks to pack up their bags and then get shipped off to an internment camp so you heard all these stories as you were growing up but what happened oh yeah but my parents always impressed upon me that no matter what the suffering that they endured you have to pick up the pieces and move on you know my parents live behind barbed wire machine guns but afterwards they said look don't bear grudges pick up the pieces move on learn make sure it doesn't happen again but don't bear that cross for the rest of your life but it must have been influenced your identity growing up well how do you think of yourself you're an American but you also are Japanese you have been influenced by a different philosophies and ways of looking at the world well first of all my parents were Buddhists so on one hand I understood the basic
00:05:30philosophy of Buddhism that for example there is a Nirvana and that we try to strive for the highest state of consciousness within their Vanna and there does not necessarily have to be my God and you are a a person that sets the universe in motion but when I was a child my parents wanted us to be as American ice as possible so I went to Presbyterian Sunday school so I was raised as a presbyterian I see and the Presbyterian Church of course you have this thunderous figure like Charlton Heston saying let there be light and creating a universe out of nothing so all my life I've had these two mutually contradictory understandings of our world one hand that there was an explosion of some sort that the Universe in motion and the other one is dead no no no it's just timelessness the states of Consciousness I love that so how did you being brought up with this
00:06:30tradition in a sense influenced by your parents and then the other religious tradition how did you end up going into the field of physics
00:06:44well it all happened when I was 8 years old omigod I still remember exactly what happened everyone was talking about the fact that a great scientist had just died and in the evening newspapers they published a picture a picture of his desk and the caption said this is the unfinished manuscript of the greatest work of our time and I said to myself wow he couldn't finish this work what was so important that everyone is talking about the fact that he just died but he couldn't finish his greatest work show to the library and I found out that his name was Albert Einstein and that what this book was that he could not finish was The Theory of Everything the unified field Theory the theory that would allow him to quote read the mind of God
00:07:39and I said to myself whoa that's for me that's what I want to work on to help him please this great journey to understand the mind of God from a single framework a single coherent framework perhaps an equation no more than 1 inch long that would help us to understand all the laws of the universe
00:08:05so before we go further let's take a minute to get some basic signs under a belt in mainstream physics the physics you learned in school that are four basic forces described in the universe 1 electromagnetism it was Thomas Edison of course we help the harness this and made it into a consumer science so that we have photographs in Motion Pictures all of it done using electromagnetism
00:08:38the strong force
00:08:42will the strong force helps to hold the atoms together so the electromagnetic force of electrons going around the nucleus gives us chemistry but then what holds the nucleus of the atom together and that is the strong nuclear force and without the nuclear force our bodies would literally become a mass of electrons and quarks tree the week 4
00:09:08well the weak Force cannot hold a nucleus together that's why we have uranium bombs that's why we have a Hiroshima bombs because of the fact that uranium is not that stable and then we know the rate at which these atoms Decay and then gives us a clock and that's how we know when the dinosaurs died and that gives us a geologic clock by which we understand the age of the universe
00:09:33but she does but it gets messy there's one force left and it doesn't seem to be the same rules as the others and every Martin physicist from Newton on has grappled with it it's called gravity
00:09:50and that's the bad boy Joe queso know what is gravity gravity is a force that holds the Earth together holds the sun together without gravity the sun would explode and the Earth would fall apart and disintegrate so it makes the shape of the of the entire universe and it was first worked out by Isaac Newton who said the gravity is a force now however it was criticized 300 years ago because that means that objects are moving without being pushed and looting was very disturbed by this you wrote about it it was very disturbed by the fact that everything moves because they're pushed you push something and it moves but then people said while what is gravity there's no push and you said hypotheses non fingo which translated means I'm clueless I don't know what the hell is pushing an object he didn't know what was pushing an object Einstein comes along and says forget this it is space
00:10:50self which is pushing objects so there is a push Newton missed it so why am I sitting in this chair you may say to yourself with any high school kid knows that gravity is pulling you down into this chair but you see Einstein said that the objects move cuz they're pushed what is pushing me into this chair is the fact that space on top of my head is pushing me pushing me down in this chair so why is the earth held together why doesn't the earth explode why doesn't the sun explode because there's a force pushing pushing these items together creating stars and planets and my body so it is the bending of space and time which is causing gravity so if you want to summarize Einstein's theory of relativity in one sentence is that gravity does not pull space pushes
00:11:43I heard some time ago but statement that matter tells space how to curve and spacers matter how to move think of a trampoline net and a bowling ball if you put a bowling ball in a trampoline that is sinks and then you get a marble and you shoot a marble around the bowling ball and what is a marble do it starts to spin around the bowling ball
00:12:10now that bowling ball is the Sun that marble is the Earth and that trampoline that is space-time so right now all of existence and by existence I mean anything that exists anything including the Stars the galaxies Moon your body my body this microphone to be using everything is just a manifestation of these forces these four things that we spoke about our businesses who actually published articles on V Force but so far we see nothing we see that or forces do seem to rule the universe and we realize that three of the four are due to the quantum theory and that's a series of atomic physics a theory of atoms and that describes electromagnetic force and the two nuclear forces but
00:13:10is totally different it looks very different different mathematics different physical principles and we want to marry these two theories into a single Theory which would then be the theory of everything that's right that would be the idea that Einstein try to finish in the last 30 years of his life from 1925 to 1955 and he failed
00:13:33so tell us about String Theory Theory allows you to unify all of this in terms of music so we think that if I have a vibrating string it has different notes A B C sharp D of these musical notes corresponds to a subatomic particle is actually a vibrating string a rubber band to a particle from a distance looks like a. A simple. That's where all the books say but close up you will see that it's not a. At all but a vibrating string
00:14:09what is physics physics is the harmonies of these vibrating strings what is the universe the universe is a symphony a strange Universe one song
00:14:24ECU Einstein spent 30 years of his life on a hunch that the universe is broken is a very broken Universe with all the different forces separate from each other but why should we should Mother Nature create a broken Universe why not a a single theme that resonate throughout the entire universe now we think that the fundamental basis of all particles everything the whole universe comes out of a string so that each vibration of a string is a particle and what is a string made of well of course that has no meaning because it is a fundamental stuff out of which everything else is made but think of it is pure energy the purest form of existence such that every note on the vibrating string corresponds to a subatomic particle son says we're going back to Thousand Years to the Greeks where they thought music was the only paradyne Rich enough to explain the universe ever think about it for a moment he would agree cuz
00:15:24seniors to go to see leaves in fire is in the clouds and rocks and volcanoes how do you explain the diversity of reality with a single thing a single thing we should explain mountains in chemistry and stuff the only paradyne Rich enough is music
00:15:43as I mentioned at the beginning my parents were Buddhist and Buddhism there only States Of Consciousness that is Nirvana and we strive for the highest state while in the Presbyterian Church there is an instance of Genesis why the universe is created String Theory allows you to combine these two into a single Theory
00:16:06it's a mathematical Theory. Right it is pure mathematics
00:16:13we're going to take a small break and when we come back we're going to talk about cats and how they relate to the Big Bang they do I promise
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00:17:53welcome back we left off talking about mathematics but you're going to go much deeper the numbers on a page
00:18:04it mathematics is the basis of quantum mechanics of Relativity of anything we know about gravity electromagnetism strong and weak interactions what is mathematics where does it exist some people think that mathematics is an invention that is we create mathematics sort of in our own image I don't think so I don't think it's an invention I think it's a discovery and that is it a pre-existing before humans before humans that were dinosaurs they had laws of chemistry in DNA way before humans existed and so I think that mathematics is there from the very beginning we know there was a big bang in our universe
00:18:51our universe is a bubble we live on the skin of the bubble and the bubble is expanding that's called The Big Bang Theory String Theory says they are other bubbles out there may be infinite may be an infinite number of bubbles that is really a bubble bath bubble bath of universes Collide giving you a bigger bubble or the bubbles can fission giving you a baby bubble and that's called the Big Bang
00:19:18so what is the big bang this explosion was created the universe is probably nothing but a baby Universe peeling off from a parent universe
00:19:29each solution of string theory is an entire universe that predicts a Multiverse of universes are universally just being one of an infinite series of universes in a Multiverse of universes we can even go before creation we can go before chapter 1 verse 1 When God says let there be light
00:19:49last time I asked to physicists so what was there before the Big Bang and he said it's not the right question because there was no space nor was there time and it was just the potential for space and time
00:20:06then the question is what bang why did it bang how did it banged wasn't big are didn't make a noise either a very big bang theory says nothing nothing about the pre big bang universe because it's incomplete and that's why Einstein himself knew that it was in complete he wanted to go before the Big Bang and that's what String Theory. It allows you to go before the Big Bang to a Multiverse of universes we not realize that the Big Bang was a Quantum event meaning that it could happen again and again and again in quantum mechanics nothing happens once things always happen a number of time cuz there's always a probability that will happen again some big bangs are happening all the time since we began this conversation universes have been created on some of bust on
00:21:06little bubble that pop into existence but I kept on going and expanded we're not exactly sure why but which of the conference's where we're actually looking looking for evidences of universes that are being created within our universe or universe that peeled off like a baby bubble a baby bubble from from our own Universe we want hard data and we're looking at the the cosmic background radiation to see remnants of perhaps another umbilical cord another universe that branched off from our from our universe and only four percent of the universe than is atomic and that's all the galaxies I'm toys that are now. Most of the universe is not made of us we are the balls were The Crazy Ones were made out of something to hire Alamos I carbon and nitrogen which are not common in the universe at all
00:22:03what Mitchell is telling me is important to understand entire universe only 4% of what's out there is matcha the rest well almost everything really is nothing that's the university existen you me and every living thing including
00:22:33well that gets us into the cat problem if you were to write down the most famous Paradox in all of science the mother of all paradoxes it is the cat problem and that is that a cat is put in a box and we physicists have to describe the cat in the Box we describe the cat in a box by looking at waves waves represent all possibilities the cat is dead the cat is alive and then we add them together so before you open the box you have to add a dead cat was alive cat that was this point most people would say you're nuts you're crazy I mean how can you be dead and alive simultaneously
00:23:14but that's just the way physics is when you open the box you say I made a measurement the wave collapsed and the cat is alive
00:23:24before you open the box the cat is neither dead nor alive now Einstein thought this is stupid the more successful quantum mechanics get the sillier it looks at how can you be dead in life simultaneously the universe splits there is one Universe with a dead cat one Universe with a live cat and believe it or not this is the dominant theory in physics today that reject call me right now is just one version of almost maybe infinite versions in maybe even different dimensions of space and time to an audience some people raise their hand say is Elvis Presley still alive and one of these parallel universes and I say well these are states in one state Elvis Presley did die but you can conceive of a state where Elvis Presley decided not to take any drugs at all day could be infinite versions of this
00:24:24Elvis Presley right yeah that's right in infinite universes right so now we're getting too so far down the rabbit hole that we're talkin it's Stranger Than science fiction great write what you want you to see it when you feel is not necessary reality in the first of all that's you a billionth of a second ago because it takes a billionth of a second for light to go for your face to the mirror and back when you look at the Moon you looking at the moon as it was a second ago the sun 8 minutes ago and the Stars hundreds of years ago and some of them don't exist anymore
00:25:06radio picks up static
00:25:10a lot of the static on a radio comes from Jupiter but some of it also comes with a big bag
00:25:15you're literally listening to Genesis when you turn on the radio and you hear that that static
00:25:27I can't help but think that these theories of conceived in Consciousness in human consciousness so if you go back to where we started from you no matter and biology and life is chemistry and chemistry is FedEx in physics is quantum mechanics and relativity Theory and this a mathematics mathematics is in Consciousness I think you get to Ground Zero you're there at just pure potential and that pure potential is consciousness itself the only thing that's left is intention is this fundamental ground ground zero the Zero Point Energy feed the quantum vacuum whatever words we use is this Ground Zero then what you called
00:26:26the mind of God
00:26:29if you would have summarize the two greatest mysteries in all of science the two greatest Mysteries and all of science are one where did the Big Bang come from to where did Consciousness come from because when deals are the outer space and the other one deals with Inner Space and these are the two greatest mysteries in all of Sines and Consciousness is the most precious commodity in the entire universe because without it we wouldn't have this conversation. These theories and no idea about existance or existence and awareness of existence may be inseparable
00:27:14in fact as a simple example realize that on your shoulders is sitting the most complex object in the entire known universe the human brain has a hundred billion neurons are in the universe do we find anything as complex you may have to go many many light-years many many light-years on the planet Earth to the nearest Stars before you find anything close to the complexity of the human brain it took billions and billions and billions of years to create consciousness
00:27:47time for one more break and we dive into Mitchell's theory of how to measure Consciousness itself
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00:30:04a question of what is consciousness remains one of Sciences greatest Mysteries and we're exploring it in all our episodes with me choose approach to it is unique
00:30:21let's get into different kinds of Consciousness the animals were exempt alligators would have spatial Consciousness they understand space very well where their predators are food mates danger reptiles have The Reptilian Brain the back of the brain very well developed in the understand spatial Consciousness who have social Consciousness that is the limbic system of the brain has the brain evolved from the back to the front then we have social Consciousness where you have to learn about picking order you have to learn about social hierarchy manners who's the top dog with the underdog all the complexities of living in a society then the question is what about humans
00:31:05what do we have that is beyond special Consciousness and social Consciousness and I say what distinguishes human consciousness is a fact that we see time not your space temporal Consciousness we constantly dream about the future we Daydream we planned we strategized we plan for the future a lot of Consciousness is planning conceiving things controlling your fate and that's why I say that Consciousness is one of the most powerful forces in the universe because it determines its own destiny all other objects in the universe simply obey Newton's Laws of a quantum mechanics but they don't determine their own fate
00:31:54Shazam this thing to you and I'm also you know very familiar with that grew up with the wisdom traditions of the East but is that all this and when you say different types of Consciousness in these wisdom Traditions these are literally species of Consciousness and each biological organism is a different species of this Consciousness which looks at a different world is there a word that is absolute or are we not kind of in the end saying that the entire universe that we talked about you and I talked about
00:32:40and physicists talk about it's not the entire universe just a human construct four modes of knowing and experience in that switch recall human consciousness let me say that I'm a physicist and we physicists like the count we like to quantify things we like to put things on a scale a metric because otherwise things get a little bit fuzzy, is this I think it also be measured and put on a scale in fact I have a definition of a unit of Consciousness one unit of Consciousness to me is one feedback loop so that the thermostat thermostat would be the unit of Consciousness that is it monitors the surrounding a rounded Chris a model of itself and regulates temperature as called a thermostat one unit of Consciousness I say when people talk to plants well it's not so stupid because plants are psy.d conscious they may have five units of Consciousness because they monitor gravity
00:33:40moisture a temperature plants have to know when to germinate when to have flowers and so a plan may have five units of Consciousness by feedback loops to create a model of itself in the forest that we have an alligator that gives us into spatial Consciousness which is quite complicated I'd say I'd alligator has a few hundred units of Consciousness and then once you go to social consciousness of a monkey it gets even more complicated who's plotting against you who's your friend who's the top dog at that point I'm thinking of thousands of units of social Consciousness to create a monkey and then we have us
00:34:24play the temporal Consciousness Regal Haven behind that we simulate worlds that don't exist we created models of our world even after we're dead we constantly think about the future of our grandkids and so we're in a situation where we as as temporal beings plot and plan the future it and have models of reality incredibly more complicated than a simple thermostat and so I have it definition then what is consciousness Consciousness is the sum total of all feedback loops necessary to create a model a model of yourself in space and society and time
00:35:11as I'm listening to you I'm just thinking that all these different models of Consciousness the feedback loops are created in human consciousness rental that is inconceivable and immeasurable and unimaginable because we can only imagine in terms of experience in space-time mathematics has an advantage can put Infinity into an equation of 0 into an equation so you're dealing with inconceivable ideas other than in mathematical imagination have you made up all this whole thing of either creators of the universe that we know
00:35:59well I personally believe that if some says we are in the process of self creation not just self treating ourselves because we are masters of our own destiny but some creating the world we see around us and the universe that is that we only see a sliver of what's really out there but hey that's all we have you know we are feeble beings in this great complex Universe we try to make do with what we have is the universe we experience is it real
00:36:33I don't think that there is a one fundamental reality so the question is do we perceive a fundamental reality I would say that we perceive a fundamental reality that is one slice of what we see around us given the information that we have we try to make do with it come up with theories but it's only a possibility
00:36:55before we can even come up with the teddy we need to have an experience which is a perceptual experience then we need to interpret that which is a mental experience that we need to create constructs that a mathematical construct he looks to me that we are the creators of the universe
00:37:16we create our universe in our own image in that sense in the sense that we make do with whatever sensors and instruments that we have and we will try to make the best guess so I think our universe is a fundamental universe
00:37:31but it's not the only one
00:37:35so all of you who are listening right now you should be a little bewildered a little astonished a little more humble and probably have more reverence for existence
00:37:51existence is mysterious and the awareness of existence is mysterious and the best we can do is create models of it. Chicago it's been a great pleasure to be with you my pleasure
00:38:07two can be no end to the universe
00:38:10and if there isn't in like your your burrito once you finish eating your burrito there's no burrito left so what do you do you get another burrito that is crazy
00:38:26the next time you look at the sky above or into your mirror Imagine The Invisible alternate universes contained within and Beyond the next time you feel like you're trapped in your reality know that there are just as many ribs a possibility infinite potentials of your own existence
00:38:59thank you for spending time with us please let others know we're here we're most grateful to you for helping grow a community of listeners now it's time for our gratitude list infinite potential is produced by David Shadrach Smith and Julie Magruder and edited by Andy jet ski with the audio engineer is Bob tabaddor Garland Rangel is our associate producer and Serena Regan is the coordinating producer especially thank our guests sponsors interns in everyone who is going to be rooted to bring infinite potential to you or show is created and executive-produced by David Chadwick Smith gencon and me and Deepak Chopra and this is infinite potential

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