I definitely will be among the physics fans glued to the TV set this Thursday evening for the series premiere of Flash Forward,
based on the sci-fi novel of the same name by Robert J. Sawyer. Heck,
the novel kicks off the action at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, despite
the fact that it hadn't been built yet when Sawyer wrote the book in
1997. But Sawyer, an uber-science fan, read about plans for the
project, and it just so happened that the concept of achieving
unprecedented energies fit very neatly into a science fiction plot he
was sketching out at the time. The result was an action-packed story
that prominently featured physicists on the ALICE experiment.
Particle physics has come a long way since 1997, but the LHC is
unlikely to trigger a global event in which billions of people black
out for exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds, and catch a glimpse of their
lives six months into the future. Judging by the series trailer, a lot
can happen in six months. That's one of the departures from the
original book, according to Sawyer, who told io9 recently
that the producers opted not to have the glimpse be ...