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Peter Higgs

Birthdate: 29. May 1929

Peter Ware Higgs is a British theoretical physicist, Emeritus Professor in the University of Edinburgh and Nobel Prize laureate for his work on the mass of subatomic particles.In the 1960s, Higgs proposed that broken symmetry in electroweak theory could explain the origin of mass of elementary particles in general and of the W and Z bosons in particular. This so-called Higgs mechanism, which was proposed by several physicists besides Higgs at about the same time, predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, the detection of which became one of the great goals of physics. On 4 July 2012, CERN announced the discovery of the boson at the Large Hadron Collider. The Higgs mechanism is generally accepted as an important ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics, without which certain particles would have no mass.Higgs has been honoured with a number of awards in recognition of his work, including the 1981 Hughes Medal from the Royal Society; the 1984 Rutherford Medal from the Institute of Physics; the 1997 Dirac Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics from the Institute of Physics; the 1997 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize by the European Physical Society; the 2004 Wolf Prize in Physics; the 2009 Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; the 2010 American Physical Society J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics; and a unique Higgs Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012. The discovery of the Higgs boson prompted fellow physicist Stephen Hawking to note that he thought that Higgs should receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work, which he finally did, shared with François Englert in 2013. Higgs was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 2013 New Year Honours and in 2015 the Royal Society awarded him the Copley Medal, the world's oldest scientific prize.

Quotes Peter Higgs

„It’s about understanding! Understanding the world!“

—  Peter Higgs

Explaining what led him to study theoretical physics, as quoted by Ian Sample, in The god of small things http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/nov/17/sciencenews.particlephysics, The Guardian, Saturday 17 November 2007.

„This summer I have discovered something totally useless.“

—  Peter Higgs

Writing to a colleague about his proposal for a particle at the origin of mass (1964), as quoted in The Hunt for the Higgs Boson http://www.sciencescotland.org/feature.php?id=14, Science Scotland, issue no. 3.

„Higgs mechanism should be renamed the “ABEGHHK'tH mechanism”“

—  Peter Higgs

During the opening of one conference Peter Higgs attended to. The name is after all of the people (Philip Warren Anderson, Robert Brout, François Englert, Gerry Guralnik, Dick Hagen, Peter Higgs, Tom Kibble and Gerard 't Hooft) who discovered it, or rediscovered it.

„There is a sort of mythology that grows up about what happened, which is different from what really did happen.“

—  Peter Higgs

About the early days after the proposal of the Higgs mechanism, as quoted by Peter Rodgers, in Peter Higgs: the man behind the boson http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/19750, Physics World (July 10, 2004)

„It's very nice to be right sometimes … it has certainly been a long wait.“

—  Peter Higgs

In a press conference asked whether he felt a sense of vindication.
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/jul/06/prof-higgs-nice-right-boson
Source: https://www.news.com.au/national/nice-to-be-right-says-peter-higgs-about-bosun-discovery/news-story/f87c237d7b51c8e067ed94e97ed0eb65

„The point came when people were doing things I didn't feel competent to do myself. I'm not being modest, I honestly get lost. I was lucky in spotting what I did when I did, but there comes a point where you realise what you're doing is not going to be much good.“

—  Peter Higgs

Explaining how he came to follow the race for the discovery of the Higgs boson from the sidelines, as quoted by Ian Sample, in The god of small things, The Guardian, Saturday 17 November 2007.

„When you look at a vacuum in a quantum theory of fields, it isn't exactly nothing.“

—  Peter Higgs

in video Meet Peter Higgs http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1019670 by CERN (July 2004).

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