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Media Advisory: The Science of “Angels & Demons” Revealed

Could antimatter really destroy the Vatican? Brookhaven scientist, local educators discuss science myths and facts in movie

Angels & Demons poster

EVENT: During a free and public event, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and local educators will separate the science facts from the science fiction of “Angels & Demons,” a major motion picture based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel. The film, which opens nationally in theaters today, focuses on a plot to destroy the Vatican using antimatter stolen from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European particle physics laboratory CERN. Speakers will explain the real science of the LHC, including antimatter – oppositely charged cousins of ordinary matter with intriguing properties.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Berkner Hall Auditorium, Brookhaven National Laboratory. Brookhaven Lab is on William Floyd Parkway, one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 on the Long Island Expressway.

DETAILS: Starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, “Angels and Demons” – the follow-up to the “Da Vinci Code” – tells the story of Harvard University symbology professor Robert Langdon as he investigates a murder at CERN. He finds evidence of a deadly plot hatched by an ancient secret brotherhood, the Illuminati, to destroy the Vatican using antimatter stolen from CERN. Brookhaven physicist Howard Gordon, who works on LHC science at CERN, will dissect the scientific themes of the movie and explain how they relate to the actual work of physicists. Afterward, a panel of local high school and university educators will lead an audience discussion. Refreshments will be served.

The Brookhaven talk is part of a series of public lectures about the film; across the United States and Canada, scientists from more than 30 colleges, universities and national laboratories will host individual events. More information about the series, including a list of lectures and local contacts, is available at

Please RSVP to Kendra Snyder, (631) 344-8191, or Mona S. Rowe, (631) 344-5056.

Tags: lecture

2009-10963  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office