Peter Higgs, Nobel laureate in physics and father of the Higgs boson, has died at the age of 94

Peter Higgs, Nobel laureate in physics and father of the Higgs boson, has died at the age of 94

Physicist Peter Higgs, discoverer of the Higgs boson, died at the age of 94 on Tuesday. The scientist died at his home after a short illness. It was he who, along with François Englert and Robert Brout, predicted the existence of a particle absolutely fundamental to science. This discovery earned him the Nobel Prize in 2013, along with his colleague François Englert.

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He passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, April 8, after a short illness », said the University of Edinburgh, where the scientist was an honorary professor for a long time, in a press release.

He was particularly known for his discovery of the Higgs boson, an elementary particle considered to be the cornerstone of the basic structure of matter. This discovery also earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 along with Belgian François Englert.

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

Age discovery

The event was July 4, 2012. On that day, Peter Higgs wiped his wet eyes on a crowded grandstand bench at CERN, in SwissTo announce the discovery of this famous boson, which will remain associated with its name forever.

At this moment, it was the work of a lifetime of this British physicist that gained its full meaning because several decades ago, in the middle of the twentieth century, physics was no longer able to explain certain properties of elementary particles, these very small particles. Elements that are the basic building blocks of matter. So, in 1964, Peter Higgs and his colleagues wrote a theorem: Using mathematics, they predicted the existence of a particle that would completely solve the problem.

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But it's not that simple. How, in fact, can we be able to observe this particle? For 48 years, physicists from all over the world will embark on this impossible quest in search of the Higgs boson. Almost existential research into physics, until this discovery made by this deceased scientist in 2012.

The boson remains difficult to generalize today, and has been dubbed the “God particle” because it is everywhere, while it is particularly elusive because it is so 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, Peter Matheson, director of the University of Edinburgh, confirmed in the press release. ” His pioneering work has motivated thousands of scientists, and his legacy will continue to inspire many for generations to come “, he added.

The Director General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Fabiola Gianotti, paid tribute to “ A very inspiring personality for physicists all over the world, a rare humble man, a great teacher and someone who explained physics in a very simple yet profound way “.

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