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Particle fever: Q&A with the cast

If you have 57 minutes, here is the newly posted "Filmmakers at Google" debate

with the cast of Particle Fever. You will see some Google folks, experimenters including Fabiola Gianotti, and theorists such as Savas Dimopoulos, Nima Arkani-Hamed, and David E. Kaplan who had decided that such a movie should be created.

I had to recheck that David E. Kaplan is someone else than my former co-author David B. Kaplan, probably the only co-author whom I "almost" don't remember meeting (although I probably did meet him in Seattle). And I am still not sure whether the physicist who is speaking around 27:15 is the same guy as the biochemist dad in Cats & Dogs that I watched last night. ;-)

They discuss the differences between theorists and experimenters – or the lack of it. Excitement about physics, funding, wrong and right paths in theory, and so on also play some role.

Savas is climbing mountains, Nima is playing the piano. And so does Fabiola Gianotti. And another physicist is even playing a childish song with his son – and he is singing in German. ;-) The human side of the physicists is being shown in a multi-dimensional fashion. Comments about "science vs music/arts" are ordered – somewhat similar to those in Nima faces a novelist.

Nima and Savas talk about the physicist's life being a failure after another. After some exceptional 2-3 days, one returns to the misery etc. Very true. ;-)

A guy in the audience says that he belongs among those who support funding of science. So he asks: How dare you spend so much money that could be spent for practical things? (This sort of double face is something I can't comprehend. Why does he claim to be a friend of science and its funding if he is demonstrably one of those who think that science needs to permanently defend itself? Can't he just shut up?) Nima explains that the cost of the LHC is large for a project but tiny relatively to the GDP. He adds the stories about Faraday's "one day you will tax [electromagnetism]" and the quantum revolution of matter (transistors, which fraction of GDP is due to quantum mechanics).

Nima also says that we don't care about money – well, especially after one gets $3 million, he doesn't. ;-) He also says that the total $5 billion costs of the Tevatron produced $50 billion in better magnets, PhDs (one PhD has value of $2 million, not sure how it is calculated), and so on.

Someone asks why don't we have many people like Fermi who was both a great theorist and a great experimenter (today). Monica who has some Fermi scholarship says she is an admirer of Fermi. Times have changed – experiments require longer times today so the specialization is forced upon people. But she expects the re-convergence of theory and experiments. The author of the question adds a joke about how a string theorist visualizes 11 dimensions.

An artist asks what is the best scenario when LHC reopens for business in 2015. Savas talks about the detection of 10 dimensions, mostly large. Well, very unlikely after BICEP2... Savas' #2 is the discovery of SUSY. Both are some discoveries of new dimensions, at least generalized ones. The last time it happened was 1905, with special relativity when time was discovered as a spacetime dimension, and they're vaguely analogous to the discoveries of new continents.

Hat tip: Joseph Sykora

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snail feedback (6) :

reader Rabies_Vaccinator said...

The Cats and Dogs movie needs "Mad Dog Motl" to increase the entertainment value... the abusive blogger who keeps breaking his own world records for Biggest Foot in the Mouth.

reader anony said...

Can't wait to see the movie!

reader Luboš Motl said...

The little boy was starring as me.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I won't try it myself but this URL

could help. Some subscription is needed. I don't know whether they have the permissions, whether the movie is there at all, and so on.

reader Giotis said...

45 years in the the US and still Dimopoulos can't loose the Greek accent :-)

reader Luboš Motl said...

I wouldn't lose mine even in 500 years, if I could live for that long.