Particle Fever

Year: 2013
Production Co: Particle fever
Director: Mark Levinson

When even a forthcoming movie by JJ Abrams (The God Particle) references the work of the Large Hadron Collider, you know science has broken its banks and captured the popular imagination.

Even the most unenlightened were excited by the news coming from the biggest physics experiment in human history. And while they wondered whether a black hole would open up on the Swiss/French border or we'd discover the existence of God, those actually doing the work were like kids on Christmas Eve – hence the title.

As this engaging documentary depicts, the search for the Higgs Boson was as dramatic and emotional as any thriller. When the LHC was switched on and a signal confirmed in late 2008, cheers across the control rooms were stifled just as quickly by the helium leak that then shut the whole thing down for over a year.

Then, with the entire staff pensively checking watches and staring at screens, Beethoven's Ode to Joy bursts forth, an animation depicts particle beams colliding and emerging and a new kind of particle was finally seen in July 2012.

The scene actually makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up a little as people from every corner of the earth – young, old, male and female – cheer and applaud the first breakthrough in our understanding of nature since the time of Einstein.

As someone very presciently says during the proceedings, few other human pursuits have bought representatives of avowed enemies like Iran and Israel or India and Pakistan together for such a common goal.

Talking heads from across physics explain what the theoretical Higgs Boson is, why it matters and what the LHC will tell us about it. Even if you're not the least interested in the science it's hard not to get swept up in their enthusiasm.

If you are interested in terms like supersymmetry and the standard model and why the Higgs is science's biggest popular meme, Particle Fever is a great place to start.

© 2011-2024 Filmism.net. Site design and programming by psipublishinganddesign.com | adambraimbridge.com | humaan.com.au