Stockholm, Oct : Peter W. Higgs of Britain and Francois Englert of Belgium were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited the two scientists ‘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, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider’.
In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other (Englert together with his now deceased colleague Robert Brout). In 2012, their ideas were confirmed by the discovery of a so-called Higgs particle at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva in Switzerland.
The awarded theory is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed.
The entire Standard Model also rests on the existence of a special kind of particle- the Higgs particle.
This particle originates from an invisible field that fills up all space. Even when the universe seems empty this field is there. Without it, we would not exist, because it is from contact with the field that particles acquire mass. The theory proposed by Englert and Higgs describes this process.
On 4 July last year, at the CERN laboratory for particle physics, the theory was confirmed by the discovery of a Higgs particle.
CERN’s particle collider, LHC (Large Hadron Collider), is probably the largest and the most complex machine ever constructed by humans. Two research groups of some 3,000 scientists each, ATLAS and CMS, managed to extract the Higgs particle from billions of particle collisions in the LHC.
Francois Englert is Professor emeritus at Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, while Peter W. Higgs is Professor emeritus at University of Edinburgh, UK. (ANI)