Monday, March 17, 2014

Feel the heat!

Saw a great science documentary at Film Forum today, Mark Levinson's "Particle Fever." Did it explain what the Higgs particle is or does for the layperson? Not really. But it gave a compelling sense of why it matters. Well, perhaps not how but definitely that it matters to theoretical physicists (whom we see, along with experimental physicists, in all manner of engaging contexts). Stanford physicist Savas Dimopoulos says that the Large Hadron Collider (which had just confirmed a theory he's been working on for thirty years) filled him with pride: I felt a sense of pride for humanity. We little people on a little planet with tiny brains can go so deep and understand what happens. As a feat of international cooperation it's staggering, too. So many resources poured into the quest for basic knowledge... a thing of beauty.

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