Properties of Light
A Novel of Love, Betrayal and Quantum Physics
A grand gothic novel of the outer reaches of passion -- of the body and of the mind -- PROPERTIES OF LIGHT is a mesmerizing tale of consuming love and murderous professional envy that carries the reader into the very heart of a physics problem so huge and perplexing it thwarted even Einstein: the nature of light. Caught in the entanglements of erotic and intellectual passion are three physicists: Samuel Mallach is a brilliant theoretician unhinged by the professional glory he feels has been stolen from him; Dana is his intriguing and gifted daughter, whose desperate devotion to her father contributes to the tragic undoing of Justin Childs, her lover and her father's protege. All three are working together to solve some of the deepest and most controversial problems in quantum mechanics, problems that challenge our understanding of the "real world" and of the nature of time. The book grapples with these elusive mysteries, but at its heart is a fiery love story of startling urgency. Insights into quantum mechanics and relativity theory are attached to the nerve fibers of human emotions, and these connections are alive with poignancy and pathos. For these characters, the passion to know and understand, like the desire for love, is full of terrible risk, holding out possibilities for heartbreak as well as for ecstasy. The true subject of Properties of Light is the ecstatic response to reality, perhaps the only response that can embrace the erotic and the poetic, the scientific and the spiritual. Written with, and about, a rare form of passion, this incandescent novel is fiction at its most daring and utterly original.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000
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