A fun book - in the style of the other "science thrillers": Medical thrillers by Robin Cook, Forensics thrillers by Patricia Cornwell, Infectious Disease thrillers by Richard Preston. This is a Physics thriller with all of the nitty-gritty details and the just-outside-the-realm-of-believable action of the others.
A very good cerebral yarn from Benford. Holding a universe in your hands! Maybe it's how we got here.
After an accident in a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment,it appears: a wondrous sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science.
Before long it will be clear that this object has opened a vista on an entirely different universe, a newborn cosmos whose existence will rock this world and test one woman to the limit: the physicist who has ignited this thrilling adventure herself!
The forces of academia, government, theology and the mass media battle for control of a mysterious new reality. Profound questions are raised about Creation, human destiny and the riddle of godhood...questions that push at the very frontier of mankind's understanding.
Pretty cool idea of making a universe by accident. Making it reproducible was a nice touch too, you can see all sorts of interesting possibilities coming off that. The physics in this book is way over my head but Benford does a good job making it more accessible. It was handy that Alicia was so focused on the Cosm that she never realized the mess she was in, or all the implications of it.
Benford writes well and with a knowledge and appreciation of his subjects: a story of scientific wonder, of bureaucracy in academia, of deceit in politics and in the singles scene, of the problems of being black and female in the world of particle physicists