Saturday, August 16, 2014

Particle Fever 2013

The LHC (large hadron collides) is a monumental machine built over 20 years at a cost of five billion dollars to further results about the structure of matter. Though the subject is far too advanced for anyone but specialists, the movie conveys the excitement and passion of scientific research, as well as its collaborative nature at its present stage of development, involving thousands of people. The LHC is claimed to involve team work on a scale comparable to the pyramids.

The present film describes experiments to confirm the existence and mass of the Higgs Boson, a subatomic particle crucial for the advance of studies related to the nature of the universe (the elusive particle is also nick named "god particle" in the media, making professionals squirm). The film ends in the triumphant confirmation of its existence in 2012. Its mass, speculated between 115 and 140 proton masses, would determine which of two theories about the cosmos are tenable. A lighter mass would favor "super symmetry" whereas a higher one would favor "multiverses". The latter would spell a bleak future for the field, a roadblock dreaded by its practitioners. But then the LHC comes out with a joyful value of 125 or so, favoring neither theory, leaving the field of research wide open.

A highly informative, nicely filmed, documentary.

"The things which have absolutely no value for survival are the very things that make us human."

2 comments:

kaist455 said...

I'd love to watch this fascinating documentary....

S. M. Rana said...

I guess this is one of those which have to be seen because they are there......