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Particle Fever

It's about the Large Hadron Collider. It's a gigantic discovery machine, designed to help peel back the layers that veil the fundamental laws of nature. It's also destructive testing. They destroy protons back smacking them into each other at very high speed.

The movie isn't about the science. It's about the excitement of human discovery.

In fact, there are details that go by too quickly if you are trying to learn the science. At one point, a speaker in a group meeeting presented a diagram of quarks, baryons and leptons in a format I've never seen before. As I tried to quickly mentally capture it for later recall, it flashed off the screen. But the details of the science in that meeting are not the point of the movie. It's about the people in that meeting, and about the thousands of people striving together to expand human knowledge.

Central to the movie is understanding the personal roles and dynamics of a few individuals on the project. The machine is humanized by exposure to the men and women who made it, controlled it, designed experiments, came up with the theoretical physics which is tested via the machine.

The group struggle and the multitude of individual struggles that interact, conflict and combine to effect that group struggle make for a compelling story of discovery.

- mark 4-13-2014 5:54 am [link] [add a comment]