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Peter Higgs (Higgs theory)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: BBC

 Context: Peter Higgs, the physicist credited with theorizing the Higgs boson particle, has passed away at 94.


His contributions:

Contribution Description
Higgs Mechanism In the 1960s, Higgs proposed the Higgs mechanism, along with other physicists, to explain why elementary particles have mass. This theory predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, which was later discovered at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in 2012. The Higgs mechanism is a crucial component of the Standard Model of particle physics, providing an explanation for the origin of mass for particles like the W and Z bosons.
Development of Higgs Field Theory Developed the concept of the Higgs field, which permeates space and gives mass to elementary subatomic particles that interact with it. This field theory proposed by Higgs helps explain how particles acquire mass shortly after the universe began.
Higgs Boson Authored papers on the Higgs boson. His papers contributed to the eventual discovery and understanding of the Higgs boson.
The Higgs boson is a subatomic particle that gives other particles mass. The strength of a particle’s interaction with the Higgs boson determines its mass.
Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013, shared with François Englert, for their theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, which was confirmed by the discovery of the Higgs boson.
Significant Awards and Honors Received numerous awards for his groundbreaking work, including the Hughes Medal, Rutherford Medal, Dirac Medal and Prize, Wolf Prize in Physics, J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics, and the Copley Medal. Honoured with a unique Higgs Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Higgs demonstrated humility, integrity, and dedication throughout his life, embodying ethical values such as honesty, modesty, and a commitment to scientific advancement. Despite his fame, he remained modest, focusing on science rather than personal recognition. His legacy profoundly impacted our understanding of the universe.