The Science in Angels and Demons

angels_and_demons_cover.jpg Book: Angels and Demons
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Washington Square Press, New York
Date: 2000

The Science in the BookAngels and Demons opens with a statement about CERN (Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire or European Organization for Nuclear Research), which is one of the largest scientific research centres in the World. The beginning of the book takes place at CERN and talks about the fact that they produce antimatter .

This part here will be a statement about the science in the book. What science do they talk about and how do they explain it? You can use extracts from the book as long as it is clear that they are direct quotes. It should discuss how the science is related to the story in the book.

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
CERNLogo.gifCERN is a real research institute located in Switzerland and is one of the largest research institutes in the world, employing scientists from all over the world. CERN focuses primarily on fundamental physics, which means finding how the Universe works, how it started and what it is made up of. The Large Hadron Collider is located at CERN and is the world's largest particle accelerator. They use this smash together particles at high speed (close to the speed of light) and look at what happens. They hope to use this technology to answer questions like; What is mass?, What was matter like in the first few seconds after the universe formed?, Do extra dimensions of space really exist?

CERN on Twitter
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This part here will be short description of what antimatter is and what research is being done on it.

livefrom.jpgThis link will take you to the site Antimatter: Mirror of the Universe, which was developed by CERN to present information to the general public and to students about their research into antimatter.

sm-220-antihydrogen-cern.jpgAntimatter atoms trapped for 16 minutes - This is an article from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) about a team of Canadian researchers that recently trapped antimatter and held it stable for 16 minutes at the CERN research institute, which is far longer than was previously thought possible.

Matter, antimatter and the last angle on neutrinos - This is a post from the Life and Physics Blog by Jon Butterworth, which is hosted on the Guardian website. The post discusses some experiments that were done in the T2K facility in Japan looking at how neutrinos change when they are fired across Japan.

Further References

The ALPHA Collaboration. (2011). Confinement of antihydrogen for 1,000 seconds. Nature Physics DOI: 10.1038 (Advanced Online Publication).

Gillies, J. (2005). Angel or Demon? You might think the junk science at the heart of an international bestseller would spread fear and distrust of physics. But you'd be wrong. New Scientist 186(2493), 21.