Professor Higgs, who doesn’t actually own a mobile said a former neighbour had pulled up in her car as she was coming home from lunch in Edinburgh. He added, “She congratulated me on the news and I said ‘oh, what news?'” He also said that : “I heard more about it obviously when I got home and started reading the messages.”
He shares this year’s physics prize with Francois Englert of Belgium, and joins the ranks of past Nobel winners including Marie Curie and Albert Einstein.
The 84-year-old professor at the University of Edinburgh was recognised by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for his work on the theory of the particle which shares his name, the Higgs Boson.
The Higgs Boson Particle has been described as the missing piece of the ‘Standard Model’ which explains how part of the universe that we understand interacts. Engineers tried to create the Higgs Bosons by smashing beams of particles (protons) at close to the speed of light inside the Hadron Collider. For every ten billion of these collisions only one is likely to produce a Higgs Boson which will instantly break up into smaller particles. By meticulously analysing several years worth of collisions scientists were able to identify the rare events that produce a Higgs Boson.
The real importance of the particle is that it proves the Higgs field which without this we wouldn’t have particles as we know it, they would simply float around in the same way as streams of light.