Angels or demons? You decide!

The new film Angels & Demons starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard is being premiered worldwide on 15 May, but you could see it 10 days earlier at a special preview screening as the CERN Press Office has a limited number of tickets to give away.

Preview of the new CERN website to be published on 5 May.

Opinion is split among CERNois when talking about Dan Brown’s book Angels & Demons. Should he be praised for bringing particle physics into the spotlight or should he be demonised for the ‘creative liberties’ he took - for example, although it would be useful for the international collaborations, CERN doesn’t actually have its own private airport and supersonic jet. But love it or hate it, with the upcoming release of the multi-million dollar Hollywood film adaptation, Angels & Demons will introduce a huge new audience to CERN.

"Guess what? – CERN really exists!" said one entertainment journalist in his review of the film. While this may seem funny to those who work here, there will be people who watch the film that might not know that both CERN and antimatter are real. So CERN and the particle physics community are doing everything they can to help get people interested in real antimatter research.

"The fact that Angels & Demons is a best-selling novel and now a Hollywood movie gives us the opportunity to show how exciting the reality of antimatter research is," said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci at a press conference several weeks ago. "Both fiction and science want to take us from the ordinary to the extraordinary; the difference is that science has to operate entirely within reality."

To help those who have more questions about the real science of antimatter, CERN is launching a new website to coincide with the premier of the film. The site will explain the science behind the story, and help separate the facts from fiction. In the US there will be a series of antimatter lecture nights taking place around the country. Details of the various events, coordinated by Fermilab, are available on the US-LHC website:

Part of the movie is set here at CERN, and a short sequence was actually filmed in the ATLAS cavern. In the movie ATLAS is portrayed as CERN’s ‘antimatter factory’ from which a canister containing antimatter is stolen. To mark the film release, journalists and media from around the world will be visiting CERN on 5 May to take a look at the real antimatter facilities after the preview screening at 11:00 at the Pathé cinema in Balexert. To thank CERN, Sony Pictures has given the Press Office a limited number of tickets to give away to the special press screening. To enter the prize draw email quoting "Angels and Demons tickets" in the subject line. The winners will be picked randomly on 29 April.