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352 pages, Paperback
First published May 1, 1980
All had at least double-doctorates despite their youthful ages. Jean, Amalita, and Abdul each had a Ph.D. in astrophysics and a doctorate in one aspect or another of electrical engineering. “Doc” Cesar Wong (the only “real” doctor on Dragon Slayer) had the unusual combination of an M.D. in aerospace medicine and a Ph.D. in supermagnetics. Pierre himself had a Ph.D. in high-density nucleonic theory, and doctorates in gravitational engineering and journalism. Seiko, at 32, had them all beat. At last count she had four doctorates and expected to earn another as the result of their trip. Although each was a specialist in one aspect or another of neutron star physics, they had cross-trained so that each one of them could carry out any portion of the detailed science schedule that Dragon Slayer’s crew was on.
The cables became longer and longer and started to react to the magnetic field lines of the star, which were whipping by them ten times a second—five sweeps of a positive magnetic field emanating from the east pole of the neutron star, interspersed with five sweeps of the negative magnetic field from the west pole.
1. “Go in a direction others do not go.”
2. Then, in a flash of inspiration, one of the greatest mathematical minds ever hatched in the past of future history of the cheela made a great leap of abstract thought. “I took one seed from each pod that I ate,” Great-Crack said to herself. “So I have as many seeds as pods.”
Her mind faltered for a moment. “But seeds are not pods!”
It recovered, “But there are as many seeds as there were pods, so the number is the same.”
3. “Intelligent beings!” Seiko exclaimed. “That is impossible! The surface gravity of that star is 67 billion gees and the temperature is 8200 degrees! Any being that existed on that star would be a flat glowing pancake of solid neutrons.”