Peter Higgs

Physicist, Academic

1929 –


Who is Peter Higgs?

Peter Ware Higgs, CH, FRS, FRSE is a British theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize laureate and emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh.

He is best known for his 1960s proposal of broken symmetry in electroweak theory, explaining 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. CERN announced on 4 July 2012 that they had experimentally established the existence of a Higgs-like boson, but further work is needed to analyse its properties and see if it has the properties expected from the Standard Model Higgs boson. On 14 March 2013, the newly discovered particle was tentatively confirmed to be + parity and zero spin, two fundamental criteria of a Higgs boson, making it the first known fundamental scalar particle to be discovered in nature. 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.

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May 29, 1929
Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Atheism
  • United Kingdom
  • Scotland
  • King's College London
  • Cotham School
Lived in
  • Edinburgh

on July 23, 2013


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