Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Angels and Demons

The film Angels and Demons, although based on the novel by Dan Brown, alters the original plot in fascinating ways. Spoiler warning.

The explosive antimatter from the LHC belongs to Vittoria, elevated from her original role as an adopted daughter (who needs rescuing later in the story) to an esteemed collaborator (and active experimentalist) of the murdered physicist running the containment experiment. Tom Hanks also arrives at the Vatican, where the ambiguously evil boss of the Vatican, supposedly dealing with the recent death of his beloved pope, is horrified by the arrogance of the scientists who think they can say something about the moment of creation. The God Particle features several times in the script. And we get a fair dose of Tom Hanks expertly studying an unknown manuscript by Galileo, who is supposed to be one of the founders of the secret society of The Illuminati, whose modern members are bent on destroying the Catholic Church in revenge. In the end, the hero and Vittoria manage to save the Church from certain doom, returning power to some old white man (who magically avoided being murdered and whose colleagues somehow don't manage to look all that innocent).

Highly recommended entertainment. In true Oxford fashion, my local cinema advertises a special screening tonight, at which local physicists will explain the science of antimatter and fairy fields.


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