August 2014

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I saw a great documentary on Netflix yesterday called Particle Fever about the Large Hadron Collider built by the venerable CERN. It’s a super interesting look at literally the biggest machine humans have ever made by the institution that birthed the Web. It’s truly a remarkable feat and one that has had the entire field of physics in unified rapture. The movie speaks to both the theoretical and experimental camps of physicists who come together around the LHC to determine the existence of the Higgs particle. The thresholds in the data determine if the new particle discovery will lead us into one of two different theoretical directions in physics: supersymmetry or multiverse. The ending climaxed with the measurement presentation of the new particles and what it means to the Higgs Boson reality and the post-standard model world of physics. Peter Higgs was shown in the movie as the results were presented, and the outcome was celebrated, not for its conclusiveness, but rather its validation that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of “everything.” It was amazing to see that moment documented. Peter Higgs cried, and it was very moving. Check out the trailer below, and watch it on Netflix if you’re a subscriber.