7.4/10
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Particle Fever (2013)

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2:13 | Trailer
As the Large Hadron Collider is about to be launched for the first time, physicists are on the cusp of the greatest scientific discovery of all time -- or perhaps their greatest failure.

Director:

Mark Levinson
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
David Kaplan David Kaplan ... Self - Theoretical Physicist, John Hopkins University
Fabiola Gianotti Fabiola Gianotti ... Self - Project Leader Atlas Experiment
Sherwood Boehlert Sherwood Boehlert ... Self - Representative, New York (archive footage)
Joel Hefley Joel Hefley ... Self - Representative, Colorado (archive footage)
Savas Dimopoulos Savas Dimopoulos ... Self - Theoretical Physicist, Stanford University
Nima Arkani-Hamed Nima Arkani-Hamed ... Self - Theoretical Physicist, Princeton University
Monica Dunford Monica Dunford ... Self - Postdoc Student, Atlas Experiment
Martin Aleksa Martin Aleksa ... Self - Run Coordinator, Atlas Experiment
Lyn Evans Lyn Evans ... Self - LHC Project Director
Mike Lamont Mike Lamont ... Self - Head of Collider Operations, LHC
Peter Jenni Peter Jenni ... Self - Founding Leader, Atlas Experiment
Riccardo Barbieri Riccardo Barbieri ... Self - Theoretical Physicist, University of Pisa
Peter Higgs Peter Higgs ... Self - Theoretical Physicist
Rolf-Dieter Heuer Rolf-Dieter Heuer ... Self - Director General, CERN (as Rolph-Dieter Heuer)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Asmina Arvanitaki Asmina Arvanitaki ... Self
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Storyline

As the Large Hadron Collider is about to be launched for the first time, physicists are on the cusp of the greatest scientific discovery of all time -- or perhaps their greatest failure.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

With One Switch, Everything Changes

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Two Republican congressman speak against funding for the construction of the Superconducting Super Colider in Texas. This gives the false impression that it was Republicans who ended the project. The 1993 Congress had Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate. Additionally, the President at that time was a Democrat. The leader of the effort to end funding for the project in the House was Democrat Jim Slattery. Voting to end the funding was bipartisan. See more »

Quotes

Savas Dimopoulos: Jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm is the big secret to success.
See more »

Connections

References Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
Short on the science; long on the human factors
1 May 2014 | by lotekguy-1See all my reviews

Although this is a documentary about the world's greatest scientific undertaking, there's no need for those who've abandoned hope of understanding physics or other advanced sciences to roll their eyes and move on. This one is less about the abstract principles and obscure questions motivating thousands of scientists and dozens of governments to collaborate on the massive European nuclear facility CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) than about the personal and human factors behind it.

The script offers some degree of Physics for Dummies (present company included), in trying to explain the basics of what we know about subatomic particles, and what proving there's such a thing as the Higgs boson could mean about the nature of existence. The so-called "God Particle" was posited as the reason atoms collect to form all matter, including life as we know it, in the universe. Supposedly, learning not only that it exists, but what it weighs could either support arguments for some sort of intelligent or symmetrical design, or a cosmic randomness that might pervade through innumerable parallel universes.

But before you doze off, remember this is mainly about the people behind the curtain. We learn about their dreams and motives. We even share in many of their lighter moments, along with the suspense of whether this massive undertaking would even work, what it would help us understand, and where any results might lead academic endeavors in multiple disciplines for generations to come. It's less scientifically informative, or slickly produced, than the new incarnation of Cosmos that's been running on several TV networks. But it's more intimate in showing relatable emotions among the brainiacs who've devoted years of their lives to this highly speculative venture.

Perhaps the best feature of the film is its clarity about the underlying difference between science and other human pursuits like religion or politics. Everyone at CERN was seeking objective, provable answers, even if they unraveled their own beliefs. And all were dedicated to the mission with absolutely no idea of what commercial uses, if any, their outcomes might engender. It's the purity of human curiosity at its finest. Learning for its own sake. No one at NASA expected the space race to leave us with Tang and other related products. Time will tell on the practical applications and cultural developments we'll receive from the labors of these scholars. For now, it's reassuring to know they've got a place to find the answers.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 2014 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Particle Fever See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,901, 9 March 2014

Gross USA:

$869,838

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$869,838
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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