They're making antimatter at the Large Hadron Collider?! That little jolt of reality is what sets the plot in motion for “Angels & Demons,” Hollywood's follow-up to “The Da Vinci Code.” The good news is that you don't have to worry about an antimatter bomb blowing up the world. Physicist Michio Kaku says so. The better news is that the antimatter being made at Europe's CERN physics lab is used for good, not for evil. The physicists who do real-life research with antimatter and other exotic substances see “Angels & Demons” not as a threat but as an opportunity. CERN is just one of the scientific institutions to capitalize on the “science behind the story.”
The US/LHC research group has organized an entire lecture series around the movie, including virtual lectures you can watch on the Web. And at 1 p.m. ET next Tuesday, the National Science Foundation will present a Webcast featuring CERN's director-general, Fermilab's Boris Kayser and Nobel-winning physicist Leon Lederman – who literally wrote the book on “The God Particle.” CERN has been through this before, back in 2000 when “Da Vinci” author Dan Brown's book version of “Angels & Demons” came out. “The hits on our public Web site went up by more than a factor of 10, and I guess this will happen again now that the movie is coming out,” said Rolf Landua, who led the research team for the ATHENA antimatter-making experiment at CERN.