Particle physics goes to the movies

World-renowned UAlberta physicist to host screening of documentary on Large Hadron Collider and discovery of Higgs boson.


(Edmonton) Science buffs and movie mavens will get a taste of particle physics to go with their popcorn this weekend, thanks to a world-renowned researcher at the University of Alberta.

Physicist James Pinfold will host a question-and-answer session about the search for the Higgs boson at the May 25 screening of the documentary film Particle Fever at the Garneau Theatre.


The screening is presented by the Metro Cinema Society, which writes: “For the first time, a film gives audiences a front-row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the startup of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.”

Pinfold is a founding member of the ATLAS experiment for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He led the U of A’s ATLAS team, the design and construction of precise ultrafast electronics, the construction of the elements for a giant calorimeter, the creation of a major ATLAS data distribution hub, the design of the ATLAS high-level event selection (trigger) system, and the construction of the LUCID subdetector on campus. In addition, he led the effort to assess the physics performance of the ATLAS detector for several years.

Over the past 35 years, Pinfold has worked closely with researchers at the major accelerator centres around the world, including ATLAS project leader Fabiola Gianotti (who is featured in Particle Fever). Pinfold currently leads the international MoEDAL experiment, the only LHC experiment led by a Canadian university.

Pinfold will introduce the film and stay for a Q-and-A session at the May 25 4:30 p.m. screening only.