Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor, MI): Particle Fever

National Evening of Science on Screen
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1hr 39mins // directed by:Mark Levinson

Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor, MI) will present a screening of Particle Fever, introduced by physicist David E. Kaplan. Please click here for event details.

Physicist-turned-filmmaker Mark Levinson’s riveting documentary follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, built to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and to find the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle”. Producer David E. Kaplan, a particle physicist heavily featured in the film, explains why the Higgs boson matters, and takes questions, following the screening.


About the Film

Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity. For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.

Physicists from all over the world in search of the theoretical Higgs particle gathered together to collaborate on the planning and construction of the 18-mile long super-collider at CERN in Switzerland, which was 20 years in the making. The idea was to recreate conditions immediately after the Big Bang, allowing us to move several steps closer to an understanding of the origin of matter. Physicist-turned-filmmaker Mark Levinson was there with his cameras when the collider went online, and he found a way of approaching the experiment as an epic adventure story, involving multiple setbacks, mysteries and – according to hysterical press accounts – the possible end of the world as we know it. The final film, brilliantly edited by Walter Murch, is truly a thrill a minute.


About the Speaker

Dr. David E. Kaplan is a physics and astronomy professor at Johns Hopkins University.