The NewsDemon Blog

Newsgroup Spotlight: Science and Physics Newsgroups

May 13th, 2009

Angels & Demons, the sequel to the The DaVinci Code, debuts this week and early reviews describe the film as a lighter, quicker-paced film than its predecessor. Based on the novel by controversial author Dan Brown, the plot of the film centers around a plan to use anti-matter created at the Large Hadron Collider and stolen from the European particle physics laboratory CERN to destroy St. Peter’s Basilica.
But could the plot become reality? Scientists hope to use dramatic elements of the movie to raise interest in, and awareness of, the real science of anti-matter, the Large Hadron Collider (where anti-matter is created in Angels & Demons and in real life), and particle physics research.
The science in the plot both hits and misses, Erich Varnes, a University of Arizona associate professor of physics, who works alongside other UA physicists at the ATLAS detector, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. “Some is very accurate, and some is inaccurate.”
The USENET hierarchy contains a number of newsgroups dedicated to the discussion of physics and physics-related topics. These include sci.physics, sci.physics.research, sci.physics.cond-matter and  sci.physics.particle
USENET newsgroups are unique in topics such as sci.physics, an unmoderated newsgroup dedicated to the discussion of physics, dealing with news from the physics community, and physics-related social issues. Whereas sci.physics.research is a moderated newsgroup designed to offer an environment with less traffic and more opportunity for discussion of serious topics in physics among experts and beginners alike.
Other Physics related Usenet newsgroups such as sci.physics.fusion which has approached new discoveries and interest as of late and sci.physics.electromag dealing with a relative component of the Hadron Collider, Electromagnetism, is discussed.
The movie uses particle physics as the basis of its entire plot and has already spawned a growing interest in physics sparking new conversations from the novice to professors on the matter.