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home : education : schools May 2, 2016

4/22/2014 2:14:00 PM
Science club presents 'Particle Fever'

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.

As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist?

Join the Sisters Science Club for a special showing on Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m., with Larry Price, a particle physicist and a member of the ATLAS detector team depicted in the movie, who is now living in Sisters.

He will be talking about "The Nature of Matter and the Higgs boson" in the Sisters Science Club's lecture series on April 30, the day before "Particle Fever" opens at Sisters Movie House. He will also be available after the first showing on May 1 for a short discussion and question-and-answer session.

"Particle Fever does an amazing job of giving the feeling of what it is like to do science," Price said. "By closely following six physicists among the thousands who took part in the ATLAS experiment, the film makes manifest the humanity and motivations of those involved.

"Particle Fever brought me back to those days when I was working alongside those people on the ATLAS detector, on the one hand doing the semi-routine work every day of making sure the detector was ready to take data, and on the other hand realizing that we were just about to get the historic scientific answers we had been anticipating for decades. The film captures both the necessary routine work and the palpable excitement that was in the air in those days."

This is a different science film from many because it is not primarily focused on explaining the abstruse concepts beneath it all, and only does that in passing. Rather it captures, in a surprisingly gripping way, the day-to-day process of working on science, both theorists developing the concepts and then hoping for particular outcomes, and experimenters building the apparatus and making the measurements step by step; both groups being astounded and elated when it all pays off with a historic discovery.

For both theorists and experimenters, the film captures the interweaving of scientific work with their daily lives in a way that is very human.

For more information on the special showing contact Lisa Clausen at 541-549-8833 or

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