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Peter Higgs, Francois Englert win 2013 Physics Nobel Prize for Higgs Boson

Peter Higgs, Francois Englert win 2013 Physics Nobel Prize for Higgs Boson

The awarded theory is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed.

Stockholm: The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics has been jointly awarded to François Englert and Peter W Higgs for the theory of how particles acquire mass.

In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other. In 2012, their ideas were confirmed by the discovery of a so called Higgs particle at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva in Switzerland.

The awarded theory is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed. According to the Standard Model, everything, from flowers and people to stars and planets, consists of just a few building blocks: matter particles. These particles are governed by forces mediated by force particles that make sure everything works as it should.

Some commentators - though not scientists - have called it the "God particle", for its role in turning the Big Bang into an ordered cosmos.

The two scientists had been favorites to share the 8 million Swedish crown ($1.25 million) prize after their theoretical work was vindicated by the CERN experiments.

The will of Swedish dynamite millionaire Alfred Nobel limits the award to a maximum of three people. Yet six scientists published relevant papers in 1964 and thousands more have worked to detect the Higgs at the LHC.

Englert, 80, and his colleague Robert Brout - who died in 2011 - were first to publish, but 84-year-old Higgs followed just a couple of weeks later and was the first person to explicitly predict the existence of a new particle.

The 2013 Nobel Laureates:

François Englert, Belgian citizen. Born 1932 in Etterbeek, Belgium. PhD 1959 from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. Professor Emeritus at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

Peter W Higgs, UK citizen. Born 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. PhD 1954 from King's College, University of London, UK. Professor emeritus at University of Edinburgh, UK.

(With additional information from Reuters)
first published:October 08, 2013, 16:29 IST