'God Particle' scientists win the Nobel Physics Prize

Oct 08, 2013, 17:06 IST | Agencies

Peter Higgs of Britain and Francois Englert of Belgium won the Nobel Physics Prize today for the discovery of the "God particle", the Higgs Boson that explains why mass exists, the jury said.

The pair were honoured 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," the jury said. 

The elusive boson was theorised by Higgs in 1964 to be what gave mass to matter as the Universe cooled after the Big Bang.

Peter Higgs, Francois Englert, Nobel Physics Prize
British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (L) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded laureates of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics. Pic-AFP

Guided by the theoretical work of Higgs, Englert and others, hundreds of scientists have been on a single-minded boson quest for over three years at the CERN laboratory's atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

On July 4 last year, physicists announced to rousing applause that they had found an elementary particle "consistent with (the) long-sought Higgs Boson" -- a scientific milestone.

Last year the award went to Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US for work in quantum physics that could one day open the way to revolutionary computers.

In line with tradition, the laureates will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

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