Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Forty Days of Lent: Day Eight

Last Friday I went to see Particle Fever, a documentary about the Hadron Collider, the large research facility in Sweden that conducts experiments to find out more about the Higgs Boson particle in particular, and by extension, the very nature of matter.

The movie is well made and entertaining.  It does a good job at explaining difficult ideas so that a layman can understand and also lets the audience see its scientists as likeable characters.  Much of the math and science did soar over my head, but I got a good sense of the importance of the work being done.

What I hadn't anticipated was how touched I was at the film's end, at the emotion that welled up in me, exiting as liquid via my tear ducts.  I was overwhelmed by how amazing life is, both my own and life in general, at how incredible it is that humans can understand and learn about the beginning of time by conducting some experiments.  I felt so happy to be alive.  So many Hollywood mainstream films aim for such uplift yet leave me cold, yet the sight of joy on these physicists' faces, the excitement of ideas when they talked, filled me with a renewed appreciation for existence.

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