The “god particle” is now a Nobel Prize particle for physicists Peter Higgs, 84, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Francois Englert, 80, of the University Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, who were awarded the Nobel Prize of Science this morning. Although the announcement was delayed an hour, AP quickly released it around the world when it was released.
The Swedish Royal Academy said this morning that the prize was “for the discovery of the mechanism that contributes to understanding the origin of the mass of subatomic particles.”
CBS reported this morning that the Higgs and Englert concept was confirmed last year by the discover of the so called Higgs particle, also known as the Higgs boson, at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, explained the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
It was a tricky issue for the Nobel committee, since thousands of scientists worked at CERN and other physicists had contributed to the work. Since these two men were behind the original work in 1964 and published papers at that time, it met the standards for the committee. There was another physicist, Dr. Robert Brout, co-writer with Englert on the paper, who died in 2011.
The committee rules are that only three living persons can share in the award, so the two physicists share the award.
Although other physicists had research and papers on the theory of electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force, it was Higgs with the last missing ingredient of the theory, a suite of equations that has ruled particle physics for the last half century, explaining everything from the smell of a rose to the ping when your computer boots up.
Dennis Overbye reports in the N.Y. Times, that according to this model, the universe brims with energy. The universe becomes a cosmic molasses, adding to the particles that move through it with mass, or the rolling snowball growing larger. This answers the puzzle Physicists had for some time about how matter formed shortly after the Big Bang and the Universe we know today.
It took nearly 50 years and 10 billion dollars to build the Vern Collider in Geneva and prove the theory.
Dr. Higgs once told the Guardian newspaper, “It has consequences. If it wasn’t there, we wouldn’t be here.”
The Prize established by Alfred Nobel is awarded on the anniversary of his death, December 10 each year. The monetary award of the Nobel Prize is 12 million Swedish kroner, or 1.2 million dollars which will be split by Higgs and Englert.
Reported by the N.Y. Times October 8, 2013
CBS news October 8, 2013 http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57606461/discoverers-of-higgs-boson-...