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Particle Fever (2013)

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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.


6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


With One Switch, Everything Changes




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Release Date:

3 September 2014 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

La fièvre des particules  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,968, 9 March 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$869,838, 29 June 2014
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Did You Know?


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 »


Savas Dimopoulos: Why do humans do science? Why do they do art? The things that are least important for our survival, are the very things that make us human.
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References Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Meet the people who "found" the Higgs boson at CERN
23 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is a documentary that physicists will love, as will others who really love science. It's the kind of film that carefully explains the difference between theoretical and experimental physicists. If that kind of distinction interests you, then you will like the film. A lot of physics jargon is tossed around in this film with no explanation so you need to bring a working knowledge of particle physics if you want to fully understand the discussions. If you don't know what a GeV is and that lack of knowledge is going to bother you, then you will not like this film. If you enjoy an explanation of the opposing physics theories of supersymmetry and the multiverse, then this is your film. Also, if math scares you, there are blackboards and whiteboards full of some of the hairiest equations you're likely to see. If you find such things frightening, just turn away.

However, if you'd like to meet people who have staked 10, 20, 30, even 40 years of their career on the moment when the ATLAS team finally announced "We've got it!", then this film is for you. This film paints an accurate though relatively lightweight picture of the years spent making the world's largest machine, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), operational and then confirming the existence of the Higgs boson 40 years after it was predicted in theory. It's exciting to see scores of smart people stretching their brains to the limit so that they can understand something truly fundamental about the universe.

Although billions of particles were smashed in the LHC experiments needed to confirm the Higgs, you will mostly see calm scenes of crops growing in the LHC's vicinity. There are no car chases or crashes, no battling giant robots, no aliens. There are just lots of smart people saying highly intelligent things, most of the time. When they drop into small talk or take time out to brew an espresso, it's actually jarring. (At least it was to me.) About the audience: There were about 40 people in the movie showing I attended on a Sunday afternoon. Every single one of them looked like they had an advanced degree in physics or some other hard science. Indeed, that's who this movie is made for.

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