Particle Fever | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Particle Fever

An engaging doc rooted in hard physics looks at the search for the smallest bit of matter


Mark Levinson's documentary about the launching of the Large Hadron Collider and its use in searching for the Higgs (or "God") particle is a lot more fascinating than 90 minutes spent with badly coiffed physicists would have you believe. The LHC is situated in Switzerland, but its development and personnel is a global effort.

Particle Fever is pretty hard science (with a dash of philosophy), but is quite accessible for the layman. You'll leave the theater smarter than you went in, as well as hopeful and inspired about those who pursue knowledge simply for its own sake.

And Particle Fever is truly an action film for science nerds: Thrill to scribbled formulae and a 17-mile-long accelerator; pick a side (experimental or theoretical physics); groan at setbacks (stupid hydrogen leak!); pick another side (supersymmetry vs. metaverse); and hold your breath waiting to see if the smallest bit of matter thought to exist shows up in the final reel. As with most action films, a sequel seems inevitable.

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