Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking said Wednesday the Nobel Prize should be given to Peter Higgs, the man who gave his name to the Higgs boson particle.
Former Cambridge University professor Hawking also joked that the discovery had actually cost him $100 in a bet.
"But it is a pity in a way because the great advances in physics have come from experiments that gave results we didn't expect.
"For this reason I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found. It seems I have just lost $100."
After half a century of research, physicists announced at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) Wednesday they had found a new sub-atomic particle consistent with the elusive Higgs boson which is believed to confer mass.
Hawking said the discovery was of major importance.
"If the decay and other interactions of this particle are as we expect, it will be strong evidence for the so-called standard model of particle physics, the theory that expains all our experiments so far," Hawking said.
(c) 2012 AFP