Manny's Reviews > Night Train

Night Train by Martin Amis
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's review
Nov 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts
Read in June, 1999 , read count: 2

A young woman has been found dead, and the central character, a police detective, has been put in charge of the investigation. It looks like suicide, but why ever would she have killed herself? It's interesting to see Martin Amis's picture of someone who had everything to live for. Her talented and handsome partner loved her; he says bitterly that it's kind of embarrassing to admit how much time they spent in bed together. And she was an astrophysicist, doing cutting-edge work in cosmology.

Sex and astrophysics: what could make anyone happier? I thought of this book yesterday when the CERN physicist we'd invited to dinner told us, as he held his beautiful wife's hand, about cosmology's long-term plans. Over the last decade, we've managed to map the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, which comes from the Last Scattering Surface; the moment, a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, when space became transparent. It's told us remarkable things about the Universe.

But there are still huge mysteries concerning what went before. Now, I learned, there is a far more ambitious dream: if we could build a neutrino telescope, we'd be able to see back to a point two seconds after the Universe began. It's possible that we'd be able to catch neutrinos that had come straight from that time to us, without interacting with anything en route. A direct message almost from the moment of creation. So far, no one has any idea how to do this. But it doesn't seem out of the question that it will be possible one day.

Okay, Martin, now I see what you meant. Nice touch.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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notgettingenough Sex and astrophysics: what could make anyone happier?

Sex and SLT?

Manny I'm trying to figure out how to do a double-blind experiment to compare them, but there are several challenging technical problems. It may be easier to build a neutrino telescope in fact.

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