Skip to main content

Muppet scientists at the LHC

If a big family trip to the movies is one of your Thanksgiving traditions, you might soon find yourself sitting with a fat tub of buttery popcorn at a screening of The Muppets, released today.

In the film, characters from original Muppets television show, which ran from 1976 to 1981, reunite after years apart to save their old theater from being razed by an oil tycoon. Physics fans will cheer to see that bespectacled scientist Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his harried assistant, Beaker, seem to have moved on from their careers at Muppet Labs to work on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. (Perhaps Beaker finally finished his post-doc.)

In this preview, Kermit and the gang find the two in the ATLAS detector hall, where the frazzled red-head is sucked into a pneumatic tube system and shrunk small enough to fit in Dr. Honeydew's pocket. LHC scientists are still puzzled as to how the Muppet could possibly enter the striped tubes, which are actually filled with cryogenics and superconducting magnets.

ATLAS physicist Steve Goldfarb said he hopes the Muppets will actually stop by the laboratory now that they've finished filming. "I have a lot of empathy for Beaker," he said, "especially since I've worked on hardware."

Read about more intersections of particle physics machines and cinema here and here.