Teaching Physics According to "Star Trek"

Eyes sometimes glaze over when Lawrence M. Krauss, chairman of the physics department at Case Western Reserve University, describes his work. Physics, he says, just seems too divorced from reality for most of us. So he hit on the idea of discussing topics that physicists bandy about -- energy states, dark matter, cosmic strings -- in a way that lets non- scientists follow along.

Mr. Krauss's new book, The Physics of Star Trek, genially explains the science behind television's