The Floating University

The Universe in a Nutshell

My name is Professor Michio Kaku.  I’m a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and I specialize in something called string theory.  I’m a physicist.
Some people ask me the question, “What has physics done for me lately?  I mean, do I get better color television, do I get better internet reception with physics?”  And the answer is yes.  You see, physics is at the very foundation of matter and energy.  We physicists invented the laser beam, we invented the transistor.  We helped to create the first computer.  We helped to construct the internet.  We wrote the World Wide Web.  In addition, we also helped to invent television, radio, radar, microwaves, not to mention MRI scans, PET scans, x-rays.  In other words, almost everything you see in your living room, almost everything you see in a modern hospital, at some point or other, can be traced to a physicist.

Now, I got interested in physics when I was a child.  When I was a child of eight, something happened to me that changed my life and I wanted to be part of this grand search for a theory of everything.  When I was eight, a great scientist had just died.  I still remember my elementary school teacher coming into the room and announcing that the greatest scientist of our era has just passed away.  And that day, every newspaper published a picture of his desk.  The desk of Albert Einstein.  And the caption said, I’ll never forget, “The unfinished manuscript of the greatest work of the greatest scientist of our time.”  And I said to myself, “Why couldn’t he finish it?  I mean, what’s so hard?  It’s a homework problem, right?  Why didn’t he ask his mother?  Why can’t he finish this problem?”  So as a child of eight, I decided to find out what was this problem.

Years later, I began to realize that it was the theory of everything, the Unified Field Theory.
Unified Field Theory: A Theory of Everything
An equation one inch long that would summarize all the physical forces in the universe.  An equation like E=mc².  That equation is half an inch long and that equation unlocks the secret of the stars.  Why do the stars shine?  Why does the galaxy light up?  Why do we have energy on the earth?  All of it tied to an equation half an inch long.

But then there was another thing that happened to me when I was around eight years old.  I got hooked on the Saturday morning TV shows.  In particular, Flash Gordon.  And I was hooked.  I mean, every Saturday morning watching programs about alien from outer space, star ships, ray guns, invisibility shields, cities in the sky, that was for me.  But after a few years, I began to notice something.  First of all, I began to notice that well, I didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes, I didn’t have muscles like Flash Gordon, but it was a scientist who made the series work.  In particular, a physicist.  He was the one who discovered the ray gun, the star ships.  He was the one who created the city in the sky.  He was the one who created the invisibility shield.  And then I realized something else.  If you want to understand the future, you have to understand physics.  Physics is at the foundation of all the gadgetry, the wizardry, all the marvels of the technological age, all of it can be traced to the work of a physicist.  Including computers, also biotechnology.  All of that can eventually traced down to physics.
Physics and the Impossible

Most of science fiction is in fact well within the laws of physics, but possible within maybe 100 years.  And then we have type two impossibilities, impossibilities that may take 1,000 years or more.  That includes time travel, warp drive, higher dimensions, portals through space and time, star gates, worm holes.  That’s type two.  And then we have type three, and those are things which simply violate all the known laws of physics, and they’re very few of them.

So in my life I’ve had two great passions.  First is to help complete Einstein’s dream of a theory of everything.  An equation one inch long that would allow us to, “Read the mind of God.”  

But the second passion of my life is to see the future.

You know, if you were to meet your grandparents at the year 1900, they were dirt farmers back then.  They didn’t live much beyond the age of 40, on average.  Long distance communication in the year 1900 was yelling at your neighbor.  And yet, if they could see you now, with iPads and iPods and satellites and GPS and laser beams, how would they view you?  They would view you as a wizard or sorcerer.

However, if we can now meet our grandkids of the year 2100, how would we view them?  We would view them as gods, like in Greek mythology.  Zeus could control objects around him by pure thought.  Materialize objects just by thinking.  And there’re perks to being a Greek god, Venus had a perfect body, a timeless body.  And we are beginning now to unravel the genetics at the molecular level, of the aging process.  And then Apollo, he had a chariot that he could ride across the heavens.  We will finally have that flying horse, I mean, that, we will have that flying car that we’ve always wanted to have in our garage.  We will be able to create life forms that don’t exist today.

And so in other words, if you want to see the future, you have to understand physics, and you have to realize that by the year 2100, we will have the power of the gods.  

To paraphrase Arthur C. Clark, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from divinity.”

So let’s now begin our story.  
The History of Physics

The history of physics is the history of modern civilization.  Before Isaac Newton, before Galileo, we were shrouded with the mysteries of superstition.  People believed in all sorts of different kinds of spirits and demons.  What made the planets move?  Why do things interact with other things?  It was a mystery.

So, back in the Middle Ages, for example, people read the works of Aristotle.  And Aristotle asked the question, “Why do objects move toward the earth?  And that’s because,” he said, “objects yearn, yearn to be united with the earth.   And why do objects slow down when you put them in motion?  Objects in motion slow down because they get tired.”  These are the works of Aristotle, which held sway for almost 2,000 years until the beginning of modern physics with Galileo and Isaac Newton.

So, when the ancients looked at the sky, the sky was full of mystery and wonder, and in the year 1066, the most important date on the British calendar, there was a comet, a comet which sailed over the battlefield of Hastings.  It frightened the troops of King Harold, and a young man from Normandy, swept into England and defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, creating the modern British monarchy.  In fact, British history dates to 1066 with William the Conqueror.

But the question is, where did the comet come from?  What was this comet that mysteriously paved the way for the coming of the British monarchy?

Well, believe it or not, that same comet, the very same comet that initiated the British monarchy, sailed over London once again in 1682.  This time, everyone was asking the question, “Where do comets come from?  Do they signal the death of the king?  Why do we have messengers from heavens in the sky?”  Well, one man dared to penetrate the secrets of comets, and that was Isaac Newton.  In fact, when Isaac Newton was only 23 years old, he stumbled upon the universal force of gravitation.

According to one story, he was walking on his estate in Woolsthorpe, and he saw an apple fall.  And then Isaac Newton saw the moon, and then he asked the key question which helped to unlock the heavens.  If apples falls, does the moon also fall?  And the answer was, “Yes.”  And answer overturned thousands of years of mystery and speculation about the motions of the heavens.  The moon is in freefall, just like an apple.  The moon is constantly falling toward the earth.  It doesn’t hit the earth, because it spins around the earth, and the earth is round, but it’s acting under a force, a force of gravity.

So Newton immediately tried to work out the mathematics and he realized that the mathematics of the 1600’s was not sufficient to work out the motion of a falling moon.  So what did Isaac Newton do?  When he was 23 years old, not only did he stumble upon the force of gravity, but he also created calculus.  In fact, he created at the rate at which you learn it, when you are a freshman in college.  And why did he create calculus?  To calculate the motion of a falling moon.  The mathematics of his age was incapable of calculating the trajectories of objects moving under an inverse square force field, and that’s what Isaac Newton did.  He worked out the motion of the moon.  And then he realized that if he understands the moon, he also understands the motion of the planets in the solar system.  And Isaac Newton invented a new telescope.  It was the reflecting telescope and he was tracking the motion of this comet.

Well, it turns out that everyone was talking about the comet, including a rather wealthy Englishman by the name of Edmund Haley.  Everyone was talking about the comet, so Edmund Haley, being a wealthy merchant, decided to make a trip to Cambridge to talk to England’s illustrious scientist, Sir Isaac Newton.  Well, Edmund Haley asked Newton, “What do you make of this comet?  No one understands comets, they’re a mystery.  They’ve been fascinating people for centuries, for millennia, what are your thoughts?”  And then, I paraphrase, but Isaac Newton said something like this, he said, “Oh, that’s easy.  That comet is moving at a perfect ellipse.  It’s moving in an inverse square force field.  I’ve been tracking it every day with my reflecting telescope and the path of that comet conforms to my mathematics exactly.”  And of course, we don’t know what Edmund Haley’s reaction was, but I paraphrase, he must have said something like this, he said, “For God’s sake, man, why don’t you publish the greatest work in all of scientific history?  If correct, you have decoded the secret of the stars, the secret of the heavens.  Nobody understands where comets come from.”  And then Newton responded and said, “Oh, well, it costs too much.  I mean, I’m not a wealthy man, it would cost too much to summarize this calculus that I’ve invented and to work out all the motion of the stars.”  And then Haley must have said this, he must have said, “Mr. Newton, I am a wealthy man.  I have made my fortune in commerce.  I will pay for the publication of the greatest scientific work in any language.”  And it was Principia.  The principals, the mathematical principals that guide the heavens.  

Believe it or not, this is perhaps one of the most important works ever written by a human being in the 100,000 years since we evolved from Africa.  Realize that this book sets into motion a physics of the universe.  Forces that control the motion of the planets, forces which can be calculated, forces which govern the motion of cannonballs, rockets, pebbles, everything that moves, moves according to the laws of motion and the calculus of Sir Isaac Newton.

In fact, even today, when we launch our space probes, we don’t use Einstein’s equations, they only apply when you get near the speed of light or near a black hole.  We use Newton’s laws of gravity.  They are so precise that when we shoot a space probe right past the rings of Saturn, we use exactly the same equations that Isaac Newton unraveled in the 1600’s.  That’s why we have glorious photographs of the rings of Saturn.  That’s why we have fly-by’s right past Neptune.  That’s why we’ve been able to unravel the secrets of the solar system, compliments of the laws of motion of Isaac Newton.

So what Newton did was not only did he set into motion the ability to calculate planets, he also set into motion a mechanics.  Machines now operated upon well-defined laws.  Newton’s three laws of motion.  The first law of motion says that objects in motion stay in motion forever, unless acted on by an outside force.  You see that in an ice skating rink.  You should a puck and it goes all the way down forever, unless acted upon by an outside force.  That’s different from Aristotle’s law of motion.  Aristotle said, “Objects in motion eventually stop, because they get tired.”  Newton says, “Objects in motion stay in motion forever.”  Sailing past Pluto, unless acted on by an outside force.

The second law of motion says, force is mass times acceleration.  And that equation made possible the Industrial Revolution.  Steam engines, locomotives, factories, machines, all of it due to the mechanics set into motion by Isaac Newton’s second law of motion, force is equal to mass times acceleration.

And then Newton had a third law of motion.  For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, that’s the law of rockets.  That’s why we have rockets that can sail into outer space.  In fact, Newton was the first human who could actually calculate how fast you have to run to jump to the moon.  That was a number that mystified ancients.  How do you get to the moon?  Can you jump to the moon?  Well, Newton could have calculated that number, 25,000 miles per hour, that’s the escape velocity of the earth, a number which could have been calculated by Isaac Newton himself.

So the lesson here is, when scientists unravel the first force of the universe, gravity, that set into motion the Industrial Revolution.  A revolution which toppled the kings and queens of Europe, which displaced feudalism, ushering in the modern age.  All because a 23-year-old gentleman looked up and asked the question, “Does the moon also fall?”

So, rockets, the motion of planets, and even buildings in Manhattan, all of them owe their existence to Newton’s laws of motion.

You know, when I was a kid growing up in California, I would see pictures of the Empire State Building.  And I said to myself, “How could that possibly build such a big building and not know that it’s going to fall?  I mean, why doesn’t it fall?  They didn’t build scale models of the thing, you couldn’t have an Empire State Building that big to test whether it’s going to fall or not.  How did they know ahead of time that that building wouldn’t fall?  And the answer is:  Newton’s laws of motion.

In fact, today, I teach Newton’s laws of motion, and you can actually calculate the forces on every single brick of the empire state building.  Every screw, every bolt, you can calculate precisely the tension on every single fragment of the Empire State Building, using Newton’s second law of motion, force is mass times acceleration.

That was the first force, when Newton unraveled the force of gravity, it ushered in the Industrial Revolution.  Now, let’s take a look at the second force, an even greater force which has touched all of our lives, and that is the electromagnetic force.  

Ever since humans saw lightening bolts light up the sky, ever since they were terrified by the sound of thunder, they’ve been asking, “Do the gods propel lightening bolts and create thunder?  Are they angry at us?”

Well, as time went by, scientists began to realize that the lightening bolts and the thunder can be duplicated on the earth.  That we can actually create many lightening bolts using electricity.  And with magnets, we can also unleash a new kind of force, the force of electricity and magnetism.

But it wasn’t until the 1800’s that finally we begin to unlock the second great force which rules the universe, the electromagnetic force.
So this helped to usher in the age of discovery.  Realize that before the compass, if you sailed the ocean blue, you would get lost.  With the compass knowing the position of the stars, you can then begin to navigate over hundreds, thousands of miles in the ocean.  So the discovery of compasses by the Chinese helped to usher in the Age of Discovery.

And when people like Michael Faraday, who did this, Michael Faraday would give Christmas lectures in London, fascinating everyone from adults to children.  And he would demonstrate the incredible properties of electricity.

Some people, for example, ask a simple question.  If you’re in a car or an airplane, you get hit by a lightening bolt, why don’t you all get electrocuted?  Why don’t you all die?

Well, Faraday answered the question.  He would create a cage for children.  He would walk into this steel cage, electrify it, and he wouldn’t get electrocuted at all.  That’s called a Faraday cage and every time you walk into  metal structure, you get shielded by this metal object and that’s called a Faraday cage.  Well, what Michael Faraday did was, he helped to unleash the second great revolution with something calls Faraday’s Law.  If I take a wire and I move a wire in a magnetic field, the magnetic field pushes the electrons in the magnet, creating an electrical current.  That simple idea unleashed the electric revolution.  A moving wire in a magnetic field, has this electrons pushed, creating a current, and that’s why we have hydro-electric generators.  That’s why we have dams that can produce enormous amounts of power.  That’s why people build nuclear power plants.  That’s why we have room(?) right now.  All of it due to the simple observation that a wire moving at a magnetic field, has its electrons pushed, creating an electric current.

On a very small scale, you use that in your bicycle.  When you put a bicycle lamp on your bicycle, the turning of the wheel spins a magnet.  The magnet then pushes electrons in a wire and that’s why electricity lights up in your bicycle lamp.  That’s exactly the same principal that lights up your house via a hydroelectric dam.  So in other words, electricity and magnetism were unified into a single force.  We once thought that electricity and magnetism were separate.  Now we know they are in fact the same force.

So if a moving magnet can create an electric field, this means that a moving electric field can create a magnetic field.  But if they can create each other, why can’t they oscillate and create a wave?  So that moving electric fields create magnetic fields, create electric fields, create magnetic fields, infinitum to create a wave?  

Well, around the time of the American Civil War, a mathematical physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, calculated, using the work of Faraday, the velocity of this wave, that electricity turns to magnetism, turns to electricity, turns to magnetism, creating a wave, and he calculated the velocity of the wave.  And in one of the greatest works in the history of humanity, in one of the greatest breakthroughs of all time, James Clerk Maxwell calculated the velocity of this wave and found out it was the velocity of light.  And then he made this incredible discovery, this is light.  That’s what light is.  It doesn’t by accident travel at the speed of electricity, it is light itself.

If I have a light beam right here and I could look at it with a super-microscope, I would see oscillating electric fields, magnetic fields, turning into each other creating a wave, and that wave is called light.

And the equations were written down by James Clerk Maxwell.  Unfortunately, Michael Faraday himself did not have a formal education.  He could not put into mathematical form his own work.  James Clerk Maxwell was a theoretical physicist, just like myself.  He wrote down the mathematical physics of oscillating electric fields and magnetic fields and they are called Maxwell’s equations.  These equations have to be memorized by every physicist in grad school.  You cannot get your PhD without memorizing these equations.  Every engineer who designs radio, radar, every engineer who deals with radar and radio has to memorize these equations.  And so, if you go to Berkley, where I got my PhD, you can buy a t-shirt which says, “In the beginning God said, the four-dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric, second rank tensor equals zero, and there was light, and it was good.  And on the seventh day he rested.”  Ladies and gentlemen, this is the equation for light.

In the same way that Newton found a one inch equation that governed the motion of the planets, in the same way that Maxwell discovered a one inch equation that unlocked the secret of light, we physicists today want to have a one inch equation that summarize all physical reality.

Well, Michael Faraday in his own lifetime was heralded as a great scientist, and how many scientists do you know appear on money?  Well, there he is, on the British 20-pound note.  So it’s very rare that a scientist appears on a nation’s currency, but so great was a contribution of Michael Faraday that there he is on the 20-pound note.
The Electromagnetic Revolution and The Nuclear Age

The consequences of the electromagnetic revolution touch all of us.  This is a picture of the earth from outer space.  Look at this picture.  Europe electrified, you can actually see the fruits of all of our efforts to create electricity, to energize our lives, in one picture, seeing the earth from outer space.  So let’s now talk about how Faraday and Maxwell’s work touches your life as well.

This is the internet.  The internet is a simple byproduct of the electromagnetic force.  It’s a solution of Maxwell’s equations and you can see that where there is the internet, there is prosperity.  There is science, there’s entertainment, there’s economic activity.  Where there’s no internet, there’s poverty.  And in the future, the internet will be miniaturized and it will be placed in your glasses.  Your glasses will recognize people’s faces and display their biography next to the image as you talk to them, and then when they speak Chinese to you, your glasses will translate Chinese into English and print out subtitles right beneath their image.  So in the future, you will know exactly who you are talking to without even talking to them, and this means that at a cocktail party, if you’re looking for a job, but you don’t know who the heavy hitters are, in the future you will know exactly who to suck up to.

Well, maybe you don’t want to look like a refugee from Star Trek, kids of course love the electromagnetic force, they want to make it fashionable.  Fashion models will adopt the technology, kids will say, “What?  You’re not wired up?  You can’t download videos and websites on your glasses?  What’s wrong with you?”

So, the electromagnetic force can be beamed right into your eyes via laser beams, or through an eyepiece, or by using the glasses as a screen.  These are internet glasses, this is the future of your home office, the future of your home entertainment center.

But let’s say you don’t like glasses.  Let’s say you don’t wear glasses.  Then how will you access the internet, the electromagnetic force of the future?  You will do it in your contact lens.  You will blink and you will go online.  And who will guy these internet contact lenses?  College students studying for final examinations.  They will blink and they will see all the answers appear in their contact lens.

Who else will buy these internet contact lenses?  Artists will buy them.  Because by moving their hands, they will make the electromagnetic force turn into all the different kinds of artistic endeavors they engage in.  Paintings, drawings, sculptures, all done by waving their hands.

Not to mention that architects will line up to get these things.  Instead of having to redesign a model every time they move something, they’ll simply wave their hands and their buildings, their skyscrapers, will simply rearrange themselves.

Tourists will line up for these glasses because via the electromagnetic force, you will see the Roman Empire resurrected as you walk through the streets of Rome looking at the ruins.  So tourists will be able to resurrect all the wonders of the past.

And the military, hey, let’s be blunt about this.  The military sees the importance of this, the military is also perfecting their version of this, and I had a chance to take a film crew from the Science Channel, fly down to Fort Benning, Georgia, and have a demonstration of the military’s version.  You put on a helmet, there’s an eyepiece on the helmet, you flick the eyepiece down and in a half a second, you see now the entire battlefield on the internet right inside your eyepiece.  Friendly forces, enemy forces, airplanes, artillery, all of it, the battlefield laid out for you right inside your lens.  All of it, compliments of Faraday’s electromagnetic force.

And of course, you’ve seen this before, where have you seen this before?  This is the governor of California in a very bad mood.  This is the Terminator robot.  And how did the Terminator robot view you?  When the Terminator robot looked at you, there were subtitles giving you the name of the person you were looking at.  Here is John Connor located by internet contact lenses inside a robot.  So you’ve seen this before.  This is called augmented reality and in the future, that’s where we will spend most of our life.  We will spend most of our life in augmented reality.  When we blink, we can download any movie, any website, any piece of information.  We blink, we can recognize any object, recognize any person, translate any language, this is the future, compliments of Faraday’s electromagnetic force.

This is your living room, by the way, of the future.  You’re going to be surrounded by the electromagnetic force, 360 degrees surrounded by wall screens and how will you decorate your room?  Well, you’ll decorate your room with images, cell phone screens, this is a typical cell phone of the future, and wallpaper of the future will be flexible.  It turns out that transistors can be made out of plastic.  And with plastic transistors come e-paper, electronic paper.  Paper that you can scroll right out of your cell phone, or for that matter, decorate your home.  This is the future of wallpaper.  In the future, chips will only cost a penny, because we can manufacturer tinier and tinier transistors, and use Faraday’s electromagnetic force in plastic to create flexible paper.  So in the future, you will go to the wall and say, “Change color.  I don’t like this color, I don’t like this design,” so redecorating your house has never been so simple.

This will also affect your love life.  On Friday night, we all know what college students when there’s no date, they get stone drunk.  In the future, they’ll go to the wall, conjure up a wall screen, and say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s available tonight?”  The wall screen will then contact all the other wall screens of everyone else who’s lonely that night, the wall screen knows the desires that you want, the kind of person you like to go out with, and bingo!  You have a date.  So in the future, this will also change your love life.

And it’ll also affect medicine.  You will have Faraday’s electromagnetic force inside your body.  This is a pill.  It has a chip in it, the chip is smaller than an aspirin pill, it also has a TV camera, and a magnet.  When you swallow it, the magnet guides the camera, taking pictures of your stomach, your intestines, because we all know what middle aged men fear the most, colonoscopies.  And this gives new meaning for the expression, Intel Inside.

Now, let’s talk about the next great forces which rule the universe.  We talked about gravity, which allows us to calculate the motion of the planets.  The mechanics created by Newton helped to unleash the Industrial Revolution.  Michael Faraday worked out the electromagnetic force, which gave us the wonders of the electric age.  And now, let’s talk about the nuclear age, the stars and the sun.  People have been fascinated by the sun, Apollo was the god that strode across the heavens in his fiery chariot.  But hey, when you calculate how long coal or oil will burn like the sun, you realize that in just a few hundred years, the sun would burn to a crisp.  So what could possibly last for billions of years?  There must be a new force, a nuclear force.

Einstein and others helped to unravel the secret of the stars.  The nuclear force comes in two types, weak and strong.  Both of them are involved in the creation of the sun.  The equation which allows for the liberation of energy is Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc².

What Einstein showed was that the faster you move, the heavier you get.  So your weight is not a constant.  When you move very rapidly, you get heavier, something which we measure every day in the laboratory.  Now, this means that the energy of motion transformed into mass, because you get heavier.  Now, listen carefully.  The faster you move, the heavier you get.  Which means that the energy of motion, “E” turns into “m”, your mass.  And the relationship between E and m is very simple, it takes one second to write it down on a sheet of paper, it is exactly E=mc².

So the derivation of one of the greatest equations of all time takes less than a page.  Once you understand the basic principal behind relativity, bingo!  The equation just falls right out.

So the nuclear force helped to explain the secret of the sun.  But it also created a Pandora’s box, because inside the nucleus of the atom, are particles.  And when you smash these particles, what do you get?  More particles.  And when you smash them, what do you get?  More particles.  In fact, we are drowning in subatomic particles, hundreds, thousands of subatomic particles every time we smash atoms.

Now, we smash atoms using something called atom smashers, or particle accelerators.  I built my own particle accelerator when I was in high school.  When I was in high school, I went to my mom one day and I said, “Can I have permission to build a 2.3 million electron volt betatron particle accelerator in the garage?”  And my mom said, “Sure, why not?  And don’t forget to take out the garbage.”

So I went to Westinghouse, and as a high school kid, I asked for 400 pounds of transformer steel.  I asked for 22 miles of copper wire, because I wanted to create a 6 kilowatt, 10,000 GOz magnetic field to energize my atom smasher.  With 22 miles of copper wire, how could you wind it?  We did it on the high school football field.  I put 22 miles of copper wire on the goal post, gave it to my mother, she ran to the 50-yard line, unraveling the spool of wire, she gave it to my father, who then ran to the goal post, and we wound 22 miles of copper wire on the high school football field.

Well, finally my atom smasher was ready.  It consumed 6 kilowatts of power, that’s every single ounce of power that my house could deliver.  I plugged my ears, I closed my eyes, I turned on the power, and I heard this huge crackling sound as 6 kilowatts of power surged through my capacity bang.  And then I heard a pop, pop, pop sound as I blew out every single circuit breaker in the house.  The whole house was plunged in darkness.  My poor mom, every time she’d come home, she would see the lights flicker and die.  And she must have wondered, “Why couldn’t I have a son who plays baseball?  Why can’t he learn basketball?  And for God’s sake, why can’t he find a nice Japanese girl?  I mean, why does he have to build these machines in the garage?”

Well, these machines that I built in my garage earned the attention of a physicist.  And my career got a head start.  This physicist helped to build the atomic bomb, and he arranged for me to get a scholarship to Harvard.  He knew exactly what I was doing.  I didn’t have to explain to him that I was experimenting with anti-matter.  I was creating anti-electrons in my mom’s garage and using atom smashers to eventually create beams of anti-matter, he knew exactly what I was doing.  

Well, his name was Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb.  But, hey, that’s another story.

Antimatter is the opposite of matter, it has the opposite charge.  So an electron has negative charge, the positron, or anti-electron, has positive charge.  This means that you can now create anti-molecules and anti-atoms.  Anti-hydrogen was made at CERN outside Geneva, Switzerland, and also at Fermi Lab outside Chicago, where they have anti-electrons circulating around anti-protons.

And in Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island just recently, they detected anti-helium.  We have two anti-protons with two anti-neutrons to create anti-helium.  So in principal, you can create anti-people, anti-universes, anti-everything.  For every piece of matter, there’s a counterpart which is made out of antimatter.  And when the two collide, by the way, it releases the greatest energy source in the universe.

So the collision of matter and antimatter releases energy, which may one day take us to the stars.  It is 100% conversion of matter to energy by Einstein’s equations, E=mc².

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