From Azonano: Physicists to Brief Media and Public on Real Science of Antimatter

On May 15, 2009, Sony Pictures will release “Angels and Demons,” and bring the world’s largest particle physics laboratory to the silver screen.

Based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, this major motion picture, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, focuses on a plot to destroy the Vatican using a small amount of antimatter. That antimatter is made using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and is stolen from the European particle physics laboratory CERN. Parts of the movie were filmed at CERN.

This is ridiculous, of course — CERN makes antimatter at the rate of half a nanogram per year. And they’ve only been doing that for the past few years, and they don’t leave it just sitting around in jars — they use it up. E=mc2 tells us that one nanogram of mass (a year’s worth of antimatter and the matter it annihilates) give you 100 kJ energy, less than a teaspoon of gasoline.

The NSF will host a live teleconference/webcase Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 1 p.m. EDT at In the meantime have a look at the CERN site Q & A.

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