The Physics of Star Trek

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The Physics of Star Trek
AuthorLawrence M. Krauss, Stephen Hawking (Foreword)
CountryUnited States
SubjectPhysics and Star Trek
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
ISBN978-0-465-00559-8 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-0-46-500204-7 (revised and updated edition)
791.45/72 20
LC ClassQB500 .K65 1995
Preceded byFear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed 
Followed byBeyond Star Trek 

The Physics of Star Trek is a 1995 non-fiction book by the theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss. It is the third book by Krauss, who later wrote a follow-up titled Beyond Star Trek in 1997.[1]


Krauss discusses the physics involved in various concepts and objects described in the Star Trek universe. He investigates the possibility of such things as inertial dampers and warp drive, and whether physics as we know it would allow such inventions. He also discusses time travel, light speed, pure energy beings, wormholes, teleportation, and other concepts that are staples of the Star Trek universe. The book includes a foreword by cosmologist Stephen Hawking.

The Physics of Star Trek was met with generally positive reviews. It became a national bestseller and sold more than 200,000 copies in the United States. As of 1998, it was being translated into 13 different languages. It was also the basis of a BBC television production.[2]

Krauss got the idea for writing the book from his publisher, who initially suggested it as a joke. Krauss dismissed the idea but later thought that using Star Trek might get people interested in real physics.[3]

The hardcover edition was published in November 1995, and a paperback edition followed in September 1996. The book was revised and updated by Krauss in 2007. Krauss's next book, Beyond Star Trek: Physics from Alien Invasions to the End of Time, was published in 1997.

Critical reviews[edit]

Tim Radford of The Guardian commented: "What makes Krauss's book a winner is that it provides a pulpit for a thoughtful sermon on the possibilities locked in a universe that might or might not include a planet called Vulcan and a language called Klingon but that certainly could – in theory - deliver an antigravitational force called vacuum energy... So to reread this book is to be reminded both of how much science has advanced in the past two decades..."[4]

See also[edit]

Similarly themed books include:


  1. ^ Hadhazy, Adam (May 6, 2009). "The Final Frontier: The Science of Star Trek". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ Journey through physics of Star Trek, real world with acclaimed physicist Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, Jefferson Lab, "On Target" (September 1998), accessed November 2, 2006.
  3. ^ Salisbury, David; 'The Physics of Star Trek' author to spend year on campus as visiting professor Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machine, Vanderbilt Register, October 23, 2006.
  4. ^ Radford, Tim (14 June 2013). "The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M Krauss – book review | Tim Radford". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

External links[edit]