7.4/10
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32 user 47 critic

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

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 2014 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

La fièvre des particules 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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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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: 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.
See more »

Connections

References Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Lightweight but well-planned film
11 February 2014 | by ShiiStyleSee all my reviews

The main focus of this film is the interaction of scientists with the LHC and its data. Many shots are either banter in the CERN offices or YouTube-like video contributions from scientists themselves. Basically, it adds a human element to what you might read in the news. The engineering of the LHC is scarcely touched upon, and while the film (directed by a physicist) attempts to explain the consequences for particle physics, its dramatized overview is not really accurate; the viewer would be advised to read Lee Smolin's book "The Trouble With Physics". The substitution of pictures of difficult-looking math equations for real scientific exposition became irritating. Furthermore, while we see people interacting with each other in a superficial way, the film doesn't really dig into the culture of theoretical physics -- for example, I enjoyed a shot where physicists discuss how rumors are displacing older methods of data distribution like the arXiv, but the context of this discussion was not given and I worried most of the audience would not understand it.

I subtract four stars for lack of depth and would probably extract more, except that the screening I went to had an interview with the director afterwards, and I realized from him that it was quite difficult for this documentary to achieve what it did. The science the LHC produces comes in the form of millions of spreadsheets full of numbers, which must be analyzed by thousands of experimental physicists sitting at computers around the world. It is rather hard to make a long documentary film about people analyzing numbers on computers. The director made a number of clever stylistic decisions, like mainly interviewing people who were physically present at the CERN buildings, and separating the segments of experimental and theoretical physicists. To get theoretical physics onto the big screen in a thoughtful and entertaining way is really an accomplishment in itself. It was also pointed out that the documentary skillfully focused on a few likable subjects among many to give a hint of the vast size of the project. All in all, the film is a decent portrayal of the kind of willpower and teamwork that is needed on a project the size of the LHC, but don't go to it expecting to gain a very deep knowledge of today's physics or the scientific community.


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