Ellie’s seventh grade math teacher’s
, his harshness, drove her to consider the infinite series that
The Bible study teacher
, attempting to make the conversation more temperate by
sidestepping Ellie’s questions.
At Harvard, Ellie was suddenly unencumbered by parental
, or prohibitions, which had
been due to Stoughton’s chauvinism.
"She would spend her days with the other students: boys with the final generation of slide rules hanging
training themselves to plumb the depths of nature, they were almost helpless in ordinary human affairs,
where, for all their knowledge, they seemed pathetic and shallow. Perhaps the dedicated pursuit of
science was so consuming, so competitive, that no time was left to become a well-rounded human being.
Or perhaps their social disabilities had led them to fields where the want would not be noticed. Except
for science itself, she did not find them good company.
"At night there was Jesse, leaping and wailing, a kind of force of nature that had taken over her life. In
the year they spent together, she could not recall a single night when he proposed they go to sleep. He
knew nothing of physics or mathematics, but he was wide awake inside the universe, and for a time so
Ellie held fast to her hopes of a
, or climatologically mild, Venus even after radio astronomers
found that radio emission suggested Venus’s runaway greenhouse effect.
Grote Reber built a radio telescope in 1938 that worked fine when no one was starting up the car and the
machine, a machine that produced heat from a high-frequency electromagnetic current (
through, across), across the street wasn’t functioning. At the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the
diathermy machine was a lot closer.
David Drumlin, Ellie’s brilliant Cal Tech professor, would
the virtues of his athletic female
colleague, to the chagrin of his wife.
"His [Peter Valerian’s] lack of brilliance was in fact his strength. He knew, he was confident, what
Stoughton dismissed Ellie’s thesis topic, the improvement of Cal Tech’s radio telescopes, as
dull, boring, ordinary.
Ellie improved the ruby