The real scientists of CERN: Stanford physics professor stars in ‘Particle Fever’ documentary, in theaters this weekend

SAVAS DIMOPOULOS, a professor of physics at Stanford, plays a starring role in Particle Fever, a documentary about the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the search for that elementary particle the Higgs boson.

The film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. In addition to Dimopoulos – whose theories many scientists expect will be confirmed by the LHC – the filmmakers followed five brilliant scientists during the launch of the LHC, the biggest and most expensive experiment in history. The LHC is one of the experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN, which sits on the French-Swiss border near Geneva.

The drama is thick: 10,000 scientists from more than 100 countries join forces in pursuit of a single quest: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. Throughout the film, the scientists are tested as the massive experiment frustratingly breaks, and they openly wonder whether they will ever achieve their goal. (SPOILER ALERT: The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for this research.)

The New York Times writes that “Particle Fever is a fascinating movie about science, and an exciting, revealing and sometimes poignant movie about scientists.”

The film opens in the Bay Area Friday, March 14, and will play in San Francisco at the Landmark Embarcadero Center Cinema, at the Shattuck Cinema in Berkeley and at the Nickelodeon in Santa Cruz.

Following the Saturday, March 15, 7:30 p.m. showing in San Francisco, there will be a Q&A with Dimopoulos; WALTER MURCH, the film’s editor; and MARK LEVINSON, the director. For details, visit the Landmark Theatres website.