Looking for the title of a great book I read wherein a high school teacher uses his broad knowledge of science to communicate with an alien artefact which has mysteriously appeared at the United Nations in NY (I believe this is the location).
Some aspects of the book I remember:
- The communication begins when several chemical elements are given to the giant sphere until the elements are exhausted.
- The triple alpha process is brought up at some point in the novel, in relation to the chemicals
- The alien life forms are decided to have either 8 limbs or something like that (a base-8 system was discussed in the book)
It was a great read and quality sci fi can be tough to find!