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COSM

By: Benford, Gregory, 1941-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Orbit, 1998Description: 372 pages : 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1857236270.Subject(s): Thrillers | Nuclear physics -- United States -- Fiction | Women scientists -- United States -- Fiction | Cosmology -- FictionGenre/Form: Science fiction.DDC classification: Science Fiction
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

COSM brings the extraordinary passion, drama and politics of scientific research to life in a stunning near-future thriller.
On an otherwise ordinary day not long from now, inside a massive installation of ultra-high-energy scientific equipment, something goes wrong with a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment. But this is not a calamity. It will soon be seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in history. For the explosion has left something behind: a sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science. As the forces of academia, government, theology and the mass media fight for control over the mystery that has been born, one woman comes face to face with fame and terror. For the sphere she has created contains far more than at first appears. And when she finds out what it is, she names it 'cosm'.
In this pulse-pounding thriller, Gregory Benford has returned to the world of scientists at work, exploring ideas at the frontier of mankind's knowledge, and posing profound and provocative questions about creation, human destiny and the riddle of godhood.COSM brings the extraordinary passion, drama and politics of scientific research to life in a stunning near-future thriller.
On an otherwise ordinary day not long from now, inside a massive installation of ultra-high-energy scientific equipment, something goes wrong with a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment. But this is not a calamity. It will soon be seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in history. For the explosion has left something behind: a sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science. As the forces of academia, government, theology and the mass media fight for control over the mystery that has been born, one woman comes face to face with fame and terror. For the sphere she has created contains far more than at first appears. And when she finds out what it is, she names it 'cosm'.
In this pulse-pounding thriller, Gregory Benford has returned to the world of scientists at work, exploring ideas at the frontier of mankind's knowledge, and posing profound and provocative questions about creation, human destiny and the riddle of godhood.

'A thriller at the cutting edge of science'--Cover

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Avon launches Eos, its new sf/fantasy imprint, with a bang: a physics professor creates a new universe in her laboratory. Benford, himself a physics professor, has also won the United Nations Medal in Literature. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Alicia Butterworth, a talented young black scientist, is elated to be able to try out her experiment in nuclear physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Things quickly go wrong with the experiment, however. After an explosion occurs, Butterworth finds a mysterious, chrome-colored ball floating in the wreckage. Not knowing what it is but realizing that it's something new to physics, Butterworth violates her agreement with Brookhaven by taking the ball to her own university for examination. There, she and her team of physicists and grad students must simultaneously study the marvel‘which turns out to be a space-time wormhole‘and fend off Brookhaven's attempts to shut down the project, a variety of religious crazies, environmental know-nothings and, eventually, the federal government. Benford (Sailing Bright Eternity) is himself a physicist of some repute, and his novel depicts cutting-edge science the way it's actually done in the cluttered, fund-starved laboratories of a modern university. His highly believable characters have little in common with the unrealistic scientists of so much SF. They're complex human beings, each with a full array of strengths and weaknesses, each fighting for time to do good work despite the demands of students, university administrators and friends. This may be the most enthralling science-fictional portrayal of how actual science is done since Benford's own Nebula Award-winning 1980 novel, Timescape. It provides a sterling launch for Avon's new SF and fantasy imprint, EOS. BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour. (Jan.) FYI: Benford, who, like Alicia Butterworth, teaches physics at the University of California at Irvine, is a recipient of the United Nations Medal in Literature. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

When Alice's high-energy physics experiment goes awry and explodes, she finds a mysterious object within the debris. It is a reflective orb, which seems relatively innocuous until one of the scientists investigating it is found incinerated. Eventually Alice and her team come to believe that the globe is a cosm: a miniature universe sealed off from our own and evolving at a rapid pace. Although it provides a fantastic opportunity for study, there is no way to tell if the energies contained in the globe will be released. Other forces enter the equation as academic, religious, and political powers vie for control of the orb. It becomes unclear whether the human or cosmic agencies will prove the deadlier. Benford has been a great favorite among readers who enjoy the hard science/techie side of science fiction, and his newest won't disappoint them. The cosms he investigates go beyond the technical and provide a glimpse into the more personal realms of the life and political struggles in research science. ---Eric Robbins

Kirkus Book Review

First of Avon's new f/sf line (see also Danvers, below) relaunched under the Eos imprint: a near-future you-are-there account of physics and physicists from a writer/scientist who knows whereof he speaks (Foundation's Fear, p 102, etc.). In 2005, a University of California (Irvine) physics professor, the black and rather matronly Alicia Butterworth, visits Long Island's Brookhaven labs for a particle-collision experiment. But following a mysterious explosion Alicia finds an inexplicable shiny basketball-sized sphere in the wreckage. Fearful of bureaucratic interference from Brookhaven, she whisks the sphere--it's easily contained by a magnetic field--back to UCI, where she and assistant Zak, grad student Brad, and Caltech theoretician Max Jalon study what proves to be a wormhole, held open by negative-energy density, leading into a new universe--the Cosm--that Alicia has accidentally created! Later, the Costa produces an unexpected burst of energy, and poor Brad gets fried. In the Cosm, time runs millions of times faster than in our own universe, and the scientists watch fascinated while stars and galaxies evolve. As Brookhaven creates its own much larger Cosm, media clamor and threats from religious fanatics reach a crescendo. Finally, as the government prepares to grab Alicia's Cosm, the wormhole's other end intersects a black hole, and the Cosm explodes. Dead accurate, of course, on science, scientists, blackness and science, and public and media reaction to scientific discoveries. But Benford makes little attempt to grapple with the philosophical issues raised, and his leading lady could use a personality transplant. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.