Michio Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at City College, New York, a proponent of string theory but also a well-known populariser of science, with multiple TV appearances and several bestselling books behind him. His latest book, The God Equation, is a clear and accessible examination of the quest to combine Einstein’s general relativity with quantum theory to create an all-encompassing “theory of everything” about the nature of the universe.
How close do you believe science is to accomplishing a theory of everything?
Well, I think we actually have the theory but not in its final form. It hasn’t been tested yet and Nobel prize winners have taken opposite points of view concerning something called string theory. I’m the co-founder of string field theory, which is one of the main branches of string theory, so I have some “skin in the game”. I try to be fair and balanced. I think we’re on the verge of a new era. New experiments are being done to detect deviations from the Standard Model. Plus, we have the mystery of dark matter. Any of these unexplored areas could give a clue as to the theory of everything.