Scientists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, and the European CERN laboratory, have received Spain's Prince of Asturias awards from Prince Felipe at a ceremony in northern Spain.
Higgs, 84, has also won the Nobel Prize in physics with Francois Englert, 80, for helping explain how matter formed after the Big Bang, when scientists believe the universe as we see it began.
CERN, on the Franco-Swiss border, is where Higgs' theory about how subatomic particles get their mass was proven right by experiments using the Large Hadron Collider, the world's highest-energy particle accelerator.
Other prize recipients Friday included American photographer Annie Leibovitz, Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal, Austrian film director and screenwriter Michael Haneke and Dutch-American sociologist Saskia Sassen.
The awards, created in 1981, are each worth 50,000 euros ($69,000).
In a new blow for the futuristic "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, experts reported fresh evidence Monday of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.
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