Viewpoint: Higgs Boson wins Nobel physics prize

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Tara Shears is a Professor in the University of Liverpool’s Department of Physics

“I’m so excited that this year’s prize has been awarded for the Higgs theory, and that Peter Higgs has been recognised.

“Predicting, and then discovering, the Higgs boson is one of the very greatest achievements of modern physics. It’s a wonderful idea that opens our eyes to the deepest nature of the universe. That it has turned out to be true has been one of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed.

“We shouldn’t forget that it’s fantastic, and important, that this work could happen in the UK too. The very best science happens here, as long as we can keep supporting it.”

The Higgs mechanism explains why fundamental particles have mass, and shows us that the forces describing electricity, magnetism and radioactivity are connected at a very deep level. Without the Higgs, stable atoms could not form – there wouldn’t be planets or galaxies and we certainly couldn’t exist. It is a vital, integral part of the universe’s structure.

Dr Phil Allport, Director of the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre and Upgrade Coordinator of the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider added: “A highly deserved recognition of a very bold hypothesis that many of us doubted but which turned out to be true. Now we’ve got our work cut out to measure the properties of this completely new sort of fundamental particle.”

The official citation for Englert and Higgs reads: “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, by the Atlas and CMS experiments at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider”.

Follow this link for the full story, on the BBC website

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