[PW] 1950-era novel about a physicist

Todd Mason foxbrick at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 21 23:10:44 PDT 2019


 Excellent possibility, even a probability.
Such other candidates as C. P. Snow's THE NEW MEN (1954, so perhaps also too late) are less likely but perhaps worth noting here, given Snow's high profile.
Todd Masonhttps://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2019/07/fridays-forgotten-books-and-more-links_19.htmlhttps://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2019/07/ffb-classic-tomorrows-crimes-by-donald.html
    On Monday, July 22, 2019, 01:53:09 AM EDT, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:  
 
 Here is what surfaced when I searched for "physicist as hero" in
Google Books (GB).  Snippets from GB indicate that "Physics Today"
reviewed the following book circa 1949.

"The Big Secret" by Merle Colby
The Viking Press, New York, 1949

[Begin excerpt]
There may be a curious lesson here for physicists, whose secrets are a
bone of contention (to their own dismay and discomfort), but the
lesson is born in a strange setting. The Big Secret is a combination
detective thriller, morality play, and satire.

With a young nuclear physicist as hero, the book combines two
ingredients of high potential—Washington and atomic energy—to make a
point about science and politics.
[End excerpt]

An enormous number of science fiction stories have scientists as heroes.
Garson


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Project-wombat <project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org> On Behalf Of Mark Halpern
> Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2019 9:57 PM
> To: list at project-wombat.org
> Subject: [PW] 1950-era novel about a physicist
>
> Dear Colleagues,
>
>    I have just received this plea from a good friend, a mathematician/physicist who has held responsible positions in national laboratories:
>  When I was in about the 8th grade, I read a novel which centered around a young guy who was a physicist.  I remember nothing more about it other than that I liked it a lot.  I don’t remember the plot (a mystery?), the title, the author’s name, nothing else.  It made being a physicist sound both interesting and, for me, even glamorous.  I guess that it must have been around 1950 when I read it.  It MAY have been a teenager’s book, but I’m not sure of that, either.
> It was only much later in life that I realized that book, plus one or two other things I read in those years, plus my high school course in plane geometry, got me interested in science and math.
> Do you think you could contact your research librarians group with such  flimsy clues and see what they come up with, if anything?
> I've long been boasting  to this friend about the Wombats; how they manage to find the most remote and forgotten items of information based on the flimsiest of clues, so please validate my boasts, and come up with the name of the book he's seeking!  He and I will be forever grateful!
>                            Mark Halpern    (solomons1pal at aol.com) _______________________________________________

  


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