How a Physicist redesigned the Ghostbuster’s Proton Pack

It can take a lot of effort to create a world where a film’s audience believes the world they see is (somewhat) real. To help make this possible, writers and directors turn to real-world experts. In the case of the Ghostbusters reboot, they turned to Jefferson Laboratories particle physicist, James Maxwell, to get the science behind their props right. In this article, Maxwell was asked what it was like to work on the Ghostbusters set. Here are some of the things he said.

Jefferson Particle Physicist and Ghostbusters Science Consultant James Maxwell

Jefferson Particle Physicist and Ghostbusters Science Consultant James Maxwell

It was an accident

Initially, he thought his involvement would be minor. In fact, when asked by his colleague, Lindley Winslow, to show some film makers around his lab, he thought it was an indie film project. He was very surprised when it turned out the film-makers were from Sony and were working on Ghostbusters. After the team from Sony had seen Maxwell’s lab, they asked him to help them out with some of their prop designs.

He redesigned the Iconic Ghostbusters Proton Pack

The original Proton Pack used a cyclotron as the particle accelerator. You can see read all about it in a previous article on the science behind the device. Maxwell decided to take the idea, flesh it out, and modernize it. This meant an upgrade from the cyclotron to a synchrotron, a more sophisticated particle accelerator. Essentially, Maxwell broke down how the science would work if one wanted to build a miniature particle accelerator, and this is what we see in the movie.

He got asked other science Questions

Feig and Dippold seem to have been keen on getting the science “right” according to Maxwell. Maxwell said he would often be asked specific questions and whether something would work. This might include the use of certain materials in the Ghostbusters arsenal.

He thinks the Movie is Important


The new Ghostbusters with Proton Packs

Maxwell thinks the movie is important. As a child, the original movies helped sparked his interest in science, and he thinks this movie can do the same of kids today. He says:

So having role-models is very important and I am happy with Paul Feig sticking with the idea to not only have scientists, but female scientists as role models.

Most hated Trailer

This has been the most hated movie trailer of all time! To be fair, there are issues with the trailer itself but, can we really judge a movie by its trailer?

Read the article here to find out more about a perticle physicist’s contributions to the movie Ghostbusters.