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Michio Kaku, Ph.D. speaks to a packed house at MOSI. MICHELE DYE/USF

Tampa community fills MOSI auditorium to see famed physicist

TAMPA, Fla. -- More than 1,200 fans showed up to the MOSI auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 26 to see futurist and theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku, Ph.D., explain his predictions of reality in the year 2100.

Students and residents of the Tampa community started lining up more than three hours before the event for a chance to see the famed scientist. The line started at the doors of the auditorium, wrapped around the lobby and out the main door of MOSI, with the line ending at North 50th Street.

A fan of Kaku, Reuben Harris, said he arrived “at 2:30 p.m. to see Dr. Kaku, because he is brilliant.”

“I’ve read both of his popular books, and I frequently listen to his podcast, Science Fantastic,” Harris said. “It’s such a great opportunity to get to see him speak in person.”

Once the doors opened, the 650 seats were quickly filled, leaving standing room only. Fans were happy to fill in the tight space just to hear Kaku speak.

“I’m just happy I made it in,” said Bobby Ries, a student studying computer science at USF.

Surprisingly, mostly everyone who waited in line made the cutoff to see Kaku’s lecture. Only a few people who arrived after the doors closed were turned away.

Once the lecture began, the excited crowd became quiet with anticipation to hear Kaku speak.

In the future, Kaku envisions a reality of accessibility and convenience for society. He spoke of cars that drive themselves, augmented reality, “when unlimited virtual information is imposed on reality,” such as seeing through objects and the recreation of ancient monuments, mass customization of consumer goods and advancements in medicine.

One of the most interesting focuses of Kaku’s future was some of the remarkable advancements in medicine, such as “smart pills” that will virtually eliminate all health disparities.

“How small can you make a chip?” Kaku asked. “We scientists can make a chip so small, that you can put it inside an aspirin pill, along with a TV camera and a magnet. You swallow it, and the magnet guides its way down the stomach, into the intestines and takes pictures.”

Preventative healthcare, such as cancer research, will become revolutionized in the future, Kaku said.

“Today if you get cancer, it’s awful,” Kaku said. “They give you chemotherapy, your hair falls out, you vomit, your skin has premature aging, no fun at all. In the future, instead of a shotgun that kills good cells and bad cells, we will have a rifle bullet that kills only bad. These are molecules that seek out and destroy individual cancer cells.”

Inventions are being designed so that in the future, the word tumor will become obsolete. Toilets will have a chip inside with more computer power than a modern hospital.

“This is called the ‘DNA Chip,’ it already exists, and is so tiny that it can pick up cancer genes,” Kaku said. “You will know you have cancer 10 years before a tumor forms.”

Many more extraordinary medical advancements were described by Kaku, such as the cultivation of human organs, eliminating the need for waiting lists and patients dying before they can get a new heart.

Detailed predictions of medical advancements, along with many more futuristic theories, can be read in Michio Kaku’s two New York Times Best Sellers, “Physics of the Future” and “Physics of the Impossible.”

After the lecture, there was a book signing that was only supposed to last 15 minutes. However, Kaku stayed longer, letting more than 100 happy fans get their books signed.

This event was part of the Frontier Forum lecture series, presented by the USF Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Faculty and sponsored by the USF Office of the Provost, USF College of Arts and Sciences and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Events Physics   
Author: Sarah Martin