Peter Higgs, Nobel Prize winner in physics and father of the Higgs boson, dies at 94

Peter Higgs Nobel Prize winner in physics and father of

Peter Higgs, the physicist who discovered the Higgs Boson, died at the age of 94 on Tuesday. The scientist died at his home following a short illness. Along with François Englert and Robert Brout, he was the one who predicted the existence of a particle absolutely fundamental to science. This discovery earned him the Nobel Prize in 2013 with his colleague François Englert.

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He passed away peacefully at his home on Monday April 8 following a short illness », Said the University of Edinburgh, of which the scientist was an emeritus professor for a long time, in a press release.

He was particularly known for having discovered the Higgs Boson, an elementary particle considered to be the keystone of the fundamental structure of matter. This discovery also earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 with the Belgian François Englert.

Read alsoThe 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to François Englert and Peter Higgs

The discovery of a lifetime

This event was July 4, 2012. That day, Peter Higgs wiped his wet eyes on the bench of a packed amphitheater at CERN, in Swissfor the announcement of the discovery of this famous Boson which will forever remain associated with his name.

At this moment, it was the work of a lifetime for this British physicist which took on its full meaning because several decades earlier, in the middle of the 20th century, physics was no longer able to explain certain properties of elementary particles, these very small elements which are the building blocks of matter. So, in 1964, Peter Higgs and his colleagues wrote a theory: using mathematics, they predicted the existence of a particle that would completely solve the problem.

But all is not so simple. How, in fact, can we manage to observe this particle? For 48 years, physicists from all over the world will embark on this quest for the impossible in search of the Higgs Boson. An almost existential quest for physics, until this discovery made by this now deceased scientist in 2012.

Still difficult to popularize today, the boson has been nicknamed “God particle” because it is everywhere, while being particularly elusive because it is extremely unstable. Its importance can also be summed up in one sentence: The Higgs Boson helps explain the appearance of matter in the universe.

Pioneering work »

Peter Higgs was a remarkable person – a truly gifted scientist whose vision and imagination enriched our knowledge of the world around us, underlined Peter Mathieson, director of the University of Edinburgh, quoted in the press release. “ His pioneering work has motivated thousands of scientists and his legacy will continue to inspire many more for generations to come “, he added.

The Director General of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, paid tribute to the memory of “ an immensely inspiring figure to physicists around the world, a man of rare modesty, a great teacher and someone who explained physics in a very simple and yet profound way “.