Nobel physics laureate Higgs 'overwhelmed' (Update)

October 8, 2013
British physicist Peter Higgs (R) speaks with Belgium physicist Francois Englert at a press conference on July 4, 2012 at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) offices in Meyrin near Geneva

British scientist Peter Higgs said he was "overwhelmed" after he and Belgium's Francois Englert were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their work on the Higgs Boson particle.

"I am overwhelmed to receive this award and thank the Royal Swedish Academy," Higgs, 84, said in a statement released by Edinburgh University, where he is emeritus professor of theoretical physics.

"I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to the discovery of this new particle and to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their support.

"I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research."

The Nobel jury said they were honoured for "the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle".

The elusive boson was theorised by Higgs in 1964 when he was a young lecturer in Edinburgh, outlining what gave mass to matter as the Universe cooled after the Big Bang.

The principal of Edinburgh University, Professor Timothy O'Shea, said the institution was "delighted" and he paid tribute to Higgs' research.

He said: "The discovery of the Higgs particle will underpin the next generation of physics research, and this accolade is worthy recognition of its significance.

"Professor Higgs' work will continue to inspire scientists at Edinburgh and beyond."

Higgs is an honorary fellow of the London-based Institute of Physics.

Its president Doctor Frances Saunders said Higgs' work had cleared the way for the world of physics to move on to understanding dark matter and quantum gravity.

"The work undertaken to discover the Higgs—from the original theories to the construction of the world's most powerful particle-smasher—has led to a very exciting and productive period in physics research," he said.

"It has been a long journey but one that has inspired a generation to engage with the subject.

"With the existence of the Higgs Boson confirmed, explaining why the fundamental building blocks of nature acquire mass, we can now move on to the next challenges to our understanding such as the phenomena of dark matter and quantum gravity."

Explore further: Hawking says he lost $100 bet over Higgs discovery

Related Stories

'God particle' discovery poses Nobel dilemma

October 7, 2012

On July 4, scientists announced they had discovered a new particle that may be the fabled Higgs boson, an exploit that would rank as the greatest achievement in physics in more than half a century.

Higgs Boson scientists win top Spanish prize

May 29, 2013

A British physicist and his Belgian colleague who all but identified the mysterious "God particle" that holds the universe together won a prestigious Spanish science prize on Wednesday.

Englert and Higgs win Nobel physics prize (Update 4)

October 8, 2013

Nearly 50 years after they came up with the theory, but little more than a year since the world's biggest atom smasher delivered the proof, Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgian colleague Francois Englert won the Nobel Prize ...

Recommended for you

New device converts DC electric field to terahertz radiation

August 4, 2015

Terahertz radiation, the no-man's land of the electromagnetic spectrum, has long stymied researchers. Optical technologies can finagle light in the shorter-wavelength visible and infrared range, while electromagnetic techniques ...

The resplendent inflexibility of the rainbow

August 4, 2015

Children often ask simple questions that make you wonder if you really understand your subject. An young acquaintance of mine named Collin wondered why the colors of the rainbow were always in the same order—red, orange, ...

Magnetism at nanoscale

August 3, 2015

As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials' behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are building a unique ...

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

Small tilt in magnets makes them viable memory chips

August 3, 2015

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets, paving the way for high-density storage to move from hard disks onto integrated circuits.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.