Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible
Michio Kaku grew up admiring two people: Flash Gordon and Albert Einstein. On his Science Channel television show, the theoretical physicist gets to play a little of both. In each episode of Sci Fi Science, he invites the world’s most interesting minds to demonstrate how science will realize the technologies of science fiction.
Season one showcased how we might build gadgets like light sabers and teleporters. But in the show’s second go-round, Kaku takes on the plotlines that dominate sci-fi visions of the future. He reveals how humans will colonize the galaxy with the help of self-replicating nanobots, fling an asteroid into Mars to unleash a planet-warming greenhouse effect, and fight off alien invaders by hacking their technology—though it won’t be like Independence Day. “Give me a break,” he says. “The aliens don’t use Windows.”
Kaku expresses unbridled optimism that we will reach the amazing tomorrows that science fiction has always promised. Despite the ugliness of our present, he says, those tomorrows are within reach. “Physics is the basis of the future,” he says, “just as it was the basis of the past.”
Wonders of the Solar System
Hosted by physicist Brian Cox, this BBC series whisks us around Earth and beyond to find astronomical awe. First the globe-trotting Cox shows us a breathtaking solar eclipse from the banks of the Ganges River in India. Then we leave our home planet to see more of the solar system’s wonders, taking in a Martian sunset and a simulation of Saturn’s dark side bathed in ring-shine. If all this travel sounds disorienting, don’t worry: Cox keeps viewers grounded in the science that binds these worlds together. Release date: September 7.