Particle Fever

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Mark Levinson
Production: BOND360
  6 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

- No, I don't know.

- A few people.

I was... it was terrible.

Tomorrow's will be better.

I don't think I can say that.

Say it in a public forum.

I need... I need evidence.

It's big, no?

Ever since I entered physics,

people have been talking about

this machine.

The Large Hadron Collider,

the biggest machine

ever built by human beings,

is finally going to turn on.

And after many, many years

of waiting and theorizing

about how matter got created

and about what

the deep fundamental theory

of nature is...

all those theories

are finally going to be tested,

and we're gonna know something.

And we don't know

what it's gonna be now,

but we will know,

and it's gonna change


And if the LHC

sees new particles,

we're on the right track.

And if it doesn't, not

only have we missed something,

but we may not ever know

how to proceed.

We are at a fork in the road,

and it's either going to be

a golden era...


Or it's going to be quite stark.

And I've never heard of

a moment like this in history,

where an entire field

is hinging on a single event.

- Hi.

- Hi.

- I'm David.

- I'm Fabiola.

Fabiola, nice to meet you.

So, look, I have suggested

to be on this side

because this big wheel

is quite spectacular.

Yeah, yeah.

More than ever,

this will require

the collaboration

between the theory

and experimentalists,

so it would be

a very nice period

where we work together and,


Well, it's fun to finally

interact with experimentalists.

I mean, I used to be

just in my office,

coming up with, you know,

crazy ideas.

It's a big thing.

There is a general sense waiting

for this machine to start,

this massive machine that has

taken so many years to build.

We are all in great anticipation

of what it might find.

And every time

there's even a rumor

that a new particle

is discovered...

even before it turns on...

the entire field

goes into a fever pitch.

The experiment was designed

initially in the mid '80s

and has taken

this long to construct.

There are 10,000 people

of over 100 nationalities.

That includes countries

which are mortal enemies

of each other,

like India and Pakistan,

and Georgia and Russia,

and Iran and Israel.

All have physicists

working on this machine.

These big blue things

are 7-ton

superconducting magnets,

which have to be cooled

with liquid helium

to the coldest temperatures

on Earth,

colder than empty space.

There are 100,000 computers

connected all over the world

to deal with the data.

In fact, the worldwide web

was invented at CERN

so that physicists

all over the planet

could share the data.

The United States was building

a machine just like this,

in fact, a bigger machine,

in Texas,

but they ran into

a small technical difficulty.

I doubt anyone believes

that the most pressing issues

facing the nation include

an insufficient understanding

of the origins of the universe.

Unfortunately, the

Superconducting Super Collider

was canceled by Congress

in 1993.

And finally, he's saying,

"Well, if we don't do it,

the Europeans will do it."

Let them do it!

We'll steal their technology

like they steal our technology.

It got very political.

It was very expensive,

very complicated.

It's hard for physicists

to explain

why we do

these kinds of experiments.

The purpose of the machine

is not military application.

It's not commercial application.

It's to understand something

about the basic laws of physics.

There are two kinds

of particle physicists:

There are the experimentalists.

They built the big machines,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Particle Fever" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 Nov. 2022. <>.

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