Particle Fever on iTunes

mza_592945757694281252.227x227-75 The documentary film Particle Fever, directed by Mark Levinson and produced by physicist David Kaplan, opened a while back and has been playing on and off in various big cities. But it’s still been out of reach for many people who don’t happen to be lucky enough to live near a theater enlightened enough to play it. No more!

The movie has just been released on iTunes, so now almost everyone can watch it from the comfort of their own computer. And watch it you should — it’s a fascinating and enlightening glimpse into the world of modern particle physics, focusing on the Large Hadron Collider and the discovery of the Higgs boson. That’s not just my bias talking, either — the film is rated 95% “fresh” on RottenTomatoes.com, which represents an amazingly strong critical consensus. (Full disclosure: I’m not in it, and I had nothing to do with making it.)

Huge kudos to Mark (who went to grad school in physics before becoming a filmmaker) and David (who did a brief stint as an undergraduate film major before switching to physics) for pulling this off. It’s great for the public appreciation of science, but it’s also just an extremely enjoyable movie, no matter what your background is. Watch it with a friend!

  1. Another place you can watch the documentary at the moment is on trans-atlantic Air Canada flights (and probably a number of other airlines that have a similar entertainment package). You have to look under the “Avant Garde” category of movies rather than the TV Documentaries to find it, which is a little surprising.

  2. Are there any sites that allow you to watch the film for free?
    How about renting the film? 14.99 is a lot to pay. How about Redbox? I have coupon codes for Redbox that allows me to get free rentals. Not all of us are celebrities like you, Sean, with money to throw around. Not all of us appeared on The Colbert Report.

  3. Please don’t be mad on me for this … but

    I have to say I am not receiving anymore your blog updates – and when I try to subscribe again it says that I’m already subscribed 🙁

    So.. can you please help me on this? 🙂
    Maybe unsubscribe me and then subscribe me again ..

    Please! 🙂 🙂
    Thanks!

  4. I’m making my comments based upon reviews of “Particle Fever” rather than paying to see it.

    I’m not a fan of the standard model of particle physics. IMO much of its structure is simply wrong. I think the reason why particles have mass is a much simpler explanation than a Higgs field. Instead IMO mass would be a characteristic of the interaction of gravity field with matter instead of a separate Higgs field.

    Because they found a particle lasting a couple of trillionths of second does not mean it is “the” theoretical Higgs particle, or even that the Higgs field is valid theory. What evidence do we have that this Higgs particle could ever be stable long enough to create what we call “mass” everywhere? What evidence do we have that this particle field even exists, except via theory. After all it takes very high energies to create such a single particle in the lab in the first place that almost instantly decays.

  5. I bought it, and it was a great movie. Even non-sciency types and crackpots will enjoy it. Did you hear that up there? I said, EVEN CRACKPOTS WILL ENJOY IT.

  6. If you are not in the USA, in iTunes you need to change the country setting to the USA (icon with flag at the very end of the window for the store), then search for “Particle Fever”.
    The SD version rents at $12.99 – not sure if you need USA credit or whether it would download overseas.

  7. That’s an OK tune, but my personal favorite is “The Atlas Boogie”. I’ve played it at the end of my Higgs presentations. Everyone seemed to like it.

  8. I got free tickets to see it through my university. Very good film. Immediately after seeing it, I was compelled to go home and read through a chapter of Griffiths’ Particle Physics.

    I’d also like to say that David Kaplan is a great speaker (he was at the screening and gave a presentation afterward).

  9. Note that Netflix lists this in DVD format, but it is not yet available (I’m on the list).

  10. I watched on Netflix tonight….

    Excellent! Especially right after I watched “Downfall”.