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‘Particle Fever’ Film Now Playing At Charles Theater Unravels Mysteries Of The Universe

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Johns Hopkins may be a long way from Hollywood, but two physics professors have a movie in the can.

Alex DeMetrick reports it’s about the real life hunt for the so-called “God Particle.”

It’s at the top of the marquee at the Charles Theater. But “Particle Fever” actually started almost four billion years ago with the big bang and the creation of an elusive, never seen particle called the Higgs boson, nicknamed the “God Particle.”

“It slows things down. Without the Higgs, many things would be traveling at the speed of light and atoms would never have formed. So not only you and I, but any physical thing you’ve ever been in contact with requires the Higgs,” said David Kaplan, film producer.

But that was only a theory until protons were sent racing around a 17-mile-long loop under the Swiss Alps into a collision that shook free the first hard evidence the Higgs particle exists.

It was the biggest experiment in history.

The Large Hadron Collider became the centerpiece of the documentary, “Particle Fever,” the first film by two Johns Hopkins physics professors.

Kaplan took on the job of producer.

“It’s not about teaching you particle physics. It’s about watching the process and being a part of it,” Kaplan said.

The film may deal with an invisible particle, but at its center are recognizable human emotions.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty and panic, excitement and suspense. And we totally got lucky with a clean, Hollywood ending,” Kaplan said.

That really stretches back to the beginning; with evidence the Higgs particle was part of the birth of the universe.

“Particle Fever” covers the last few years of an experiment that took 10,000 scientists and engineers 13 years to pull off.

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