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Peter Higgs

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This person won a Nobel Prize
Peter Higgs
Higgs at birthday celebration for Michael Atiyah, April 2009
BornPeter Ware Higgs
(1929-05-29) 29 May 1929 (age 92)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
FieldsPhysics (theoretical)
InstitutionsUniversity of Edinburgh
Imperial College London
University College London
Alma materKing's College London
Doctoral advisorCharles Coulson
Doctoral studentsChristopher Bishop
Lewis Ryder
David Wallace
Known forBroken symmetry in electroweak theory
Higgs boson
Higgs field
Higgs mechanism
Notable awardsWolf Prize in Physics (2004)
Sakurai Prize (2010)
Dirac Medal (1997)

Peter Ware Higgs CH FRS FRSE (born Newcastle upon Tyne, 29 May 1929) is an English theoretical physicist, and emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh.[1]

He was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson, the "most sought-after particle in modern physics".[2][3] Higgs shared the prize with François Englert.[4] Higgs was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2013.[5][6]

In the 1960s, he proposed broken symmetry in electroweak theory. This explains the origin of mass of elementary particles in general. It also shows the origin of the W and Z bosons. The theory known as Higgs mechanism was proposed by several physicists at the same time. It proposes the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson. On 4 July 2012, CERN announced they had found a new particle much like the Higgs boson in experiments,[7] but that more work was necessary to analyse its properties and see if it had the properties expected from the Standard Model Higgs boson.[8]

The Higgs mechanism is generally accepted as an important part of the Standard Model of particle physics, without which particles would have no mass.[9]

Higgs has received a number of awards. These include the 1997 Dirac Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics, the 2004 Wolf Prize in Physics, and the 2010 Sakurai Prize.


  1. Griggs, Jessica. "The Missing Piece" from Edit the University of Edinburgh Alumni Magazine Summer 2008, p17
  2. Griffiths, Martin 2007. The Tale of the Blog's Boson Retrieved on 27 May 2008
  3. Fermilab Today (16 June 2005) Fermilab results of the week. Top quarks are Higgs' best friend Retrieved on 27 May 2008
  4. Amos, Jonathan 2013. Higgs: Five decades of noble endeavour BBC News Science and Environmentt, Retrieved 8 October 2013
  5. Rincon, Paul (28 December 2012). Peter Higgs: honour for physicist who proposed particle. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  6. "Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC". BBC. 4 July 2012. 
  7. "CERN Press Release: CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson". Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  8. Rincon, Paul 2004. Fermilab 'God Particle' may have been seen Retrieved on 2008-05-27