This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Film review: The Time Machine

atlas scaffolding.jpg
Scaffolding on the LHC’s ATLAS detector during construction. Credit: CERN

It may seem odd to think of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as a “time machine”. After all, in its usual science-fiction sense, the phrase refers to a telephone-booth-sized device you climb into before zooming off to explore the future, like the hero of H G Wells’ novel. Yet as filmmaker Yariv Friedman points out in The Time Machine, the LHC should allow physicists to study what happened in the instant after the Big Bang — thereby transporting them, in some sense, through 13.7 billion years of cosmic history.

Friedman’s documentary on this real-life time machine follows a multilingual team of scientists through the final stages of the collider’s construction, where footage taken inside the ATLAS detector offers ample proof of its complexity. Here, even the scaffolding looks complicated, like a giant adventure playground crawling with hard-hatted engineers and physicists. Interviews with scientists offer glimpses of the non-technical challenges; one team leader describes his task as “management by coffee…you have to drink a lot of coffee with a lot of different people to get to the end product”.

The most telling comments, however, come in the run-up to the collider’s gala opening in September 2008. ATLAS’ technical coordinator declares that the LHC will work because “behind every nut or bolt is someone who cares”, while another scientist confesses that he cried when he saw the first particle traces. After this initial success, the shutdown nine days later, “felt like a kick in the teeth,” admits project manager Lyn Evans. Like the project it chronicles, The Time Machine doesn’t quite get off the ground within its hourlong running time, but there’s some great material in this near-miss.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

5 comments

  1. Gregg C Levine

    Hello!
    What no reference to Doctor Who? He travels in something that looks to be a phonebooth on the outside. But this does make sense.

  2. Philip Shane

    Any tips on where we can see the film?

  3. Dan White

    I too would like to know how to view this film.

  4. Jimbo

    Drat, thought this was a remake of Time Machine II, which was so disappointing: 3rd world, unsexy Eloi with children (Yuk), Super-Morlocks who can move like the Hulk, and a best friend who’s stiff.
    Forget it, we need TMIII

  5. Manish

    that is not more better

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux