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What the Higgs! Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the Higgs particle.

by Ilka Emig

“It’s very nice to be right sometimes”

Peter Higgs

Imagine you think of a crazy theory and write a paper about it, and 48 years later some scientists do an experiment and say ‘You were right with your crazy theory’. And one year later they give you the Nobel Prize for it. That’s what happened to Peter Higgs, along with François Englert, both professors, both physicists.

Peter Higgs & Francois Englert

Peter Higgs & François Englert

Higgs and Englert said in 1964 that there must be a very small thing, something so small you cannot imagine how small. The smallest of the smallest. Something that explains the way the world works. Something that explains why mass exists. It was called the Higgs particle (also called Higgs boson), named after Peter Higgs himself. Not bad to have something named after your name!

But it was all theory! Until last year a group of scientists in Switzerland could show this tiny particle in a real experiment. This was done in a machine, a gigantic circle, in which all kinds of tiny things can be speed up to nearly the speed of light. The exact name of this machine is LHC (Large Hadron Collider). And there the scientists found the Higgs particle. It behaved in the exact way Peter Higgs claimed it would many years ago.

“I’m thrilled that this year’s Nobel Prize has gone to particle physics”

CERN Director General Rolf Heuer

The research institute in Switzerland is called CERN or the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and when they told Peter Higgs about their successful experiment he was excited. “It’s very nice to be right sometimes,” he said. “It has certainly been a long wait.” Oh yes, it has! 48 years to be specific. Peter Higgs is now 84 years old, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics just some days ago.

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Hi I'm Ilka, a self-development writer and lovable scientist with a knowledgeable expertise in brain science. I help people realize the power our behavior has on our brain - and the other way around.

Nini Riedel - October 13, 2013

Viel Spass!

simplyilka - October 13, 2013

Danke Nini! Thanks!

words4jp - October 26, 2013

great post. i know something who worked on this project at the LHC. Very exciting to be a part of something so fascinating and then to watch it come to fruition. I can only imagine how Higgs and Englert feels. 🙂

    simplyilka - October 27, 2013

    You are absolutely right. It is exciting to be part of something fascinating. They all deserve recognition, CERN, Higgs and Englert.

bhavoo - October 27, 2013

LHC experiment was eagerly awaited , and glad that Peter Higgs was recognised for his work. It was long due.

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