Higgs boson theorists win Nobel Prize for physics

Englert and Higgs theorised on how particles gain mass 50 years ago; it was confirmed by CERN laboratory experiment last year

By Kundan Pandey
Published: Wednesday 09 October 2013

imageThe Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday awarded the Nobel prize for physics to two scientists who hypothesized how a particle acquires mass. Fifty years ago, François Englert, a Belgian associated with Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belguim and Peter W Higgs, a UK citizen associated with University of London, had independently proposed the theory.

This theory is the part of Standard Model of the particle physics which describes how the entire world is constructed. The model says that everything in the universe, including humans, flowers, stars and planets comprise just a few building blocks which are called matter particles. These are governed by force particles.

The Standard Model also relies on the existence of special kind of particles or the Higgs particle. This Higgs particle originates from an invisible field that occupies all the vacant space. It means that even if the universe seems empty, it is not. These particles have occupied the spaces. Without it, life would not exist, because it is from contact with the field that particles acquire mass.

On July 4, 2012, the CERN laboratory for particle physics confirmed the theory with the finding of a Higgs particle or “God particle”. Two groups of researchers, comprising 3,000 scientists, managed to extract the Higgs particle from billions of particles through collision. For this, CERN laboratory constructed probably the largest and most complex machine called Large Hadron Collider.


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