Scientists Using Angels & Demons to Spark Interest in Particle Physics
05.12.09 by BJSprecher
Angels & Demons, the sequel to the The Da Vinci Code, debuts this week and early reviews describe the film as a lighter, quicker-paced film than its predecessor. Based on the novel by controversial author Dan Brown, the plot of the film centers around a plan to use anti-matter created at the Large Hadron Collider and stolen from the European particle physics laboratory CERN to destroy St. Peter's Basilica.
Hoping to cash in on what is certain to be another blockbuster hit for director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks, the scientific community is hosting a series of lectures around the country to coincide with the release of the film. Scientists hope to use dramatic elements of the movie to raise interest in, and awareness of, the real science of anti-matter, the Large Hadron Collider (where anti-matter is created in Angels & Demons and in real life), and particle physics research. Angels & Demons Lecture Nights are presented with the assistance of CERN, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. CERN, headquartered in Geneva, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics research.
Hanks plays Robert Langdon, a Harvard University symbologist who is called on to help stop the attack on St. Peter's. He's assisted by Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra, played by Ayelet Zurer. The two travel the world searching for ancient symbols that may contain the key to saving the Vatican from destruction.
Angels & Demons also stars Ewan McGregor as Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca and Stellan Skarsgård as Commander Rocher.