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Paralympic opening ceremony turns stadium into Large Hadron Collider

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London's Olympic Stadium was transformed into a representation of the Large Hadron Collider last night for the Paralympic opening ceremony.

Higgs boson at Paralympics opening ceremony
Higgs boson at Paralympics opening ceremony

The opening ceremony for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London last night was a celebration of science — titled "Enlightenment" and narrated in part by Stephen Hawking, the spectacle used dance and other visual effects to represent events including the Big Bang and the apparent discovery of the Higgs boson particle earlier this year. While the exact significance of some of the elements may not have been immediately clear to those in the audience, an official CERN blog post points out that the elusive particle was represented by a spherical group of silver umbrellas (earlier, dancers had performed a choreographed routine to Rihanna's 2007 hit "Umbrella"). Check out the festivities in the video below — while the ceremony as a whole lasted for almost four hours, the key visual parts are confined to the first 20 minutes.