Peter Higgs, physicist who found Higgs boson, dies aged 94

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Peter Higgs, physicist who found Higgs boson, dies aged 94

Peter Higgs, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who found a brand new particle referred to as the Higgs boson, has died.

Higgs, 94, who was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 2013 for his work in 1964 exhibiting how the boson helped bind the universe collectively by giving particles their mass, died at dwelling in Edinburgh on Monday.

After a collection of experiments which started in earnest in 2008, his idea was confirmed by physicists working on the Massive Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland in 2012; the Nobel prize was shared with François Englert, a Belgian theoretical physicist whose work in 1964 additionally contributed on to the invention.

A member of the Royal Society and a Companion of Honour, Higgs spent the majority of his skilled life at Edinburgh College, which arrange the Higgs centre for theoretical physics in his honour in 2012.

Prof Peter Mathieson, the college’s principal, mentioned: “Peter Higgs was a exceptional particular person – a very gifted scientist whose imaginative and prescient and creativeness have enriched our data of the world that surrounds us.

“His pioneering work has motivated 1000’s of scientists, and his legacy will proceed to encourage many extra for generations to return.”

Prof Fabiola Gianotti, the director common at Cern and former chief of the Atlas experiment, which helped uncover the Higgs particle in 2012, mentioned: “Apart from his excellent contributions to particle physics, Peter was a really particular individual, a person of uncommon modesty, an amazing instructor and somebody who defined physics in a quite simple and profound means.

“An necessary piece of Cern’s historical past and accomplishments is linked to him. I’m very saddened, and I’ll miss him sorely.”

Jon Butterworth, a member of the Atlas collaboration, mentioned Higgs was “a hero to the particle physics group”.

“Despite the fact that he didn’t a lot get pleasure from it, he felt a duty to make use of the general public profile his achievements introduced him for the great of science, and he did so many occasions. The particle that carries his identify is probably the only most beautiful instance of how seemingly summary mathematical concepts could make predictions which end up to have enormous bodily penalties.”

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel, mentioned on the time the usual mannequin of physics which underpins the scientific understanding of the universe “rests on the existence of a particular form of particle: the Higgs particle. This particle originates from an invisible subject that fills up all area.

“Even when the universe appears empty this subject is there. With out it, we’d not exist, as a result of it’s from contact with the sector that particles purchase mass. The speculation proposed by Englert and Higgs describes this course of.”

An immensely shy man who disliked the fuss, Higgs had left dwelling for a quiet lunch of soup and trout in Leith on the day of the announcement, to be stopped by a former neighbour who gave him the information on his means dwelling.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Higgs leaves two sons, Chris and Jonny, his daughter in legislation Suzanne and two grandchildren. His spouse, Jody, a linguistics lecturer from whom he was separated, died in 2008.


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