Study Guide

Timescape Chapter 20

By Gregory Benford

Chapter 20

May 31, 1963

  • Cooper's candidacy exam begins.
  • He stumbles at first, thanks to nerves, but soon corrects himself.
  • Then Lakin starts grilling him on the unusual data that lead to the message. Cooper tries to back away from the implications, but Lakin feels it is the heart of the thesis.
  • After Cooper leaves the room, Gordon defends Cooper. While he admits Cooper could use more work in theory, he had done well with his lab work, a great success for an experimental student.
  • But Lakin says they must consider the entire matter, including the interruptions of the resonance curves. Gordon disagrees, believing they should stick to the standard problem Cooper set out to work with.
  • In the end, the committee sides with Lakin. Cooper fails.
  • Gordon leaves the room, ready to deliver the bad news to Cooper.