Scottish Professor Peter Higgs and Belgian Professor Francois Englert are now proud recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics for their ground-breaking work on the famed ‘God Particle’.
In the early 60’s, Higgs, Englert and Professor Robert Brout, contributed to a research paper that proposed the idea of a Higgs field and the Higgs boson. At its core this was an essential contribution to the world of particle physics which and had been the most solid explanation for how matter comes into existence. This paper proposed a solution to the, then, inexplicable question of how the smallest particles came to have mass.
Without the Higgs Field, in addition to the Higgs Boson re-acting to it, all the atoms in existence would be floating around aimlessly without ever coming together to give form to anything. The universe would not contain solid matter such as stars or planets.
In mid-2012, at CERN, experiments using the Large Hadron Collider confirmed what Professor Higgs and his counterparts had been proposing since as early as 1964. It is only in 2013 that the 84 year old physicist has finally received the recognition that he deserves.
Immediately after the announcement the notoriously shy Professor made sure to avoid the spotlight and had not commented on his win.
Shortly after on the University of Edinburgh’s website Higgs released a statement. He said, “I am overwhelmed to receive this award and thank the Royal Swedish Academy. 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.
Other Nobel Winners This Year
The first Nobel Prize is traditionally awarded to significant contributors to the field of medicine and this year was no exception. The award was given to James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Dr. Thomas Sudhof for their insights into the way that substances are transferred within a cell. This aided research into causes for many immunological and neurological diseases.
Late last week, the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry were named. Michael Levitt, Martin Karplus and Ariel Warshel have been awarded their prize for their groundbreaking computer technology that allows chemical reactions to be predicted. Using both classic physics equations and quantum physics equations this team of Nobel Laureates devised a method that has been crucial in the creation of new pharmaceuticals.
The awards remaining are the Literature Prize, Peace Prize and Economics Prize and they will all be announced before Monday the 14th of October.