'NOVA: Big Bang Machine'
(DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)
Overview: On July 4, 2012, scientists at the giant atom smashing facility at CERN announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that seems like a tantalizingly close match to the elusive Higgs Boson, thought to be responsible for giving all the stuff in the universe its mass. Chasing the Big Bang, as they say, finally got what some thought could never possibly be an extraordinary end result!
DVD Verdict: 'NOVA: Big Bang Machine' bridges on the film "Particle Fever" which explores the construction of the LHC and much attention to the people behind it. Especially the physicists who work with it to get results and interpret data.
Much of the focus of initial LHC experiments was seeking discovery of the Higgs Boson and the film "Particle Fever" ends with the public presentation of results, where two groups working independently, on two different detectors, came up with nearly identical results.
This Nova program, 'Big Bang Machine', summarizes the initial experiments with the LHC and gives a bit more attention to experimental considerations and more explanation of how the LHC works. Plus a discussion of what physicists believe happened during the first tiny split second after the Big Bang, and how presence of the Higgs Boson determines that everything in the universe is possible.
For example, if the Higgs did not exist, electrons and other particles would not have mass, they would all travel at the speed of light, nothing would ever be able to get together to form atoms, molecules, and ultimately tangible things, including life.
Featuring insight from former spokesperson of the ATLAS experiment at CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, 'NOVA: Big Bang Machine' provides exclusive in-depth access to the ATLAS and CMS teams at CERN the years leading up to, and including, the discovery of the Higgs! Good program, a must-see for all who are interested in the LHC and adjoining subjects. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.