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The Atom Smashers physics documentary airs Nov. 25

The Atom Smashers documentary airs Tuesday, November 24, 2008, on PBS stations.

Tuesday, PBS airs the documentary The Atom Smashers, which chronicles the lives of scientists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as they face dwindling federal research budgets, a waning public interest in basic science and fierce competition from Europe's Large Hadron Collider to find the next big discovery.

Amidst all the challenges, the scientists manage to maintain families, social connections and excitement about their careers and the search for the Higgs boson, which lead character and Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman dubbed the "God Particle."

The film has a lesson not just about science but how to have a life worth living.

To learn about the motivation behind the film and about the scientists, see a previous symmetry breaking post.

You can also find out more about PBS and its decision to highlight the film on Independent Lens.

Independent Lens is broadcast on most PBS stations at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, but put your zip code into the broadcast schedule to make sure dates and times do not vary in with your local PBS station. In the Chicago area, the show broadcasts at 10:30 p.m. on Channel 11.

If you want a second opinion, read a review from the Canadian publication Variety and from the science blog peculiar velocity and from an Illinois newspaper columnist who took her teenage relatives to a special showing at Fermilab to see their reaction. They loved it.