Peter Higgs, a giant of particle physics, dies at 94

Peter Higgs, an enormous of particle physics, dies at 94

The Nobel Prize-winning theorist’s prediction of the Higgs boson led to a half-century of discoveries that reshaped physics—and our understanding of the universe.

Portrait of Peter Higgs in blue shirt with both hands and separate glasses.

Colleagues bear in mind Peter Higgs as an inspirational scientist who was humble regardless of his fame.

Colin McPherson/Corbis through Getty Pictures

Few scientists have loved as a lot fame because the British theoretical physicist lately Peter HiggsNamed after the boson found in 2012, who died on April 8 on the age of 94.

It was 60 years in the past when Higgs first proposed how an elementary particle with uncommon properties may span the universe within the type of an invisible discipline, giving different elementary particles their mass. Different physicists, together with François Engelert, now on the Free College of Brussels, independently considered this strategy on the identical time. The particle was an vital aspect within the theoretical edifice that physicists had been constructing in these years, which later turned generally known as the Customary Mannequin of particles and fields.

Two separate experiments on the Giant Hadron Collider (LHC) close to Geneva, Switzerland – ATLAS and CMS – confirmed the Higgs’ prediction after they He introduced the invention Higgs boson half a century later. It was the final lacking aspect within the Customary Mannequin and Higgs and Englert shared the Nobel Prize in 2013 to foretell its existence. Physicists on the LHC Proceed studying concerning the properties of the Higgs bosonHowever some researchers say that solely a devoted collider that may produce massive numbers of particles – a ‘dub’The Higgs Manufacturing facility‘ – will allow them to achieve a deeper understanding of the function.

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Inspirational picture

“Along with his excellent contributions to particle physics, Peter was a really particular individual, a really inspiring determine for physicists world wide, a person of uncommon modesty, an excellent trainer and somebody who defined physics in a quite simple but profound means,” mentioned Fabiola Gianotti, director normal of CERN, in an obituary posted on the group. web site; Gianotti who introduced the invention of the Higgs boson to the world at CERN. “I am so sorry, and I will miss him a lot.”

Many physicists took to Twitter to pay tribute to Higgs and share their fondest recollections of him, earlier than X. “Rip Peter Higgs. Within the early a part of my profession the seek for the Higgs boson was my major focus. He was a really humble man who made some profound contributions to our understanding of the universe,” posted Kyle Cranmer, a physicist on the College of Wisconsin-Madison and previously a senior member of the Higgs search workforce at CMS.

I had the great fortune to satisfy Peter Higgs in 2013 (just a few days after the Nobel Prize was introduced). He was modest as he instructed a gaggle of PhD college students the historical past of boson principle. Then, I used to be very fortunate to get my copy of the New York Instances with the invention signed by him,” mentioned Clara Nellist, a physicist on the College of Amsterdam and member of the ATLAS particle-discovery collaboration.

A profession spotlight was serving to Peter right into a cab With a service bag of special-edition beer marking his current Nobel after the launch of the collider exhibition @sciencemuseum in 2013,” posted Harry Cliff, a physicist on the College of Cambridge within the UK.

“He disliked the limelight however was comfy with associates and colleagues,” says Frank Shut, a physicist at Oxford College within the UK and creator of the e book. elusive: How Peter Higgs solved the thriller of mass (2022), mentioned in an announcement to the UK Science Media Centre. “It took 48 years for his boson to seem, and when the Nobel was introduced, he disappeared into his favourite seafood bar in Leith.”

An thrilling journey

“Higgs’ work is basically vital,” says Sinead Farrington, a physicist on the College of Edinburgh. “We’re nonetheless on an thrilling journey to see if a few of the different predictions come true, resembling whether or not the Higgs boson interacts with itself within the predicted means and whether or not it will possibly decay to others past the Customary Mannequin particle,” he instructed Science. Media Middle.

For physicist and science author Matt Strassler, the Higgs is lifeless Represents ‘the tip of an period’. “Higgs was a fortunate scientist: he lived to see his instinct examined 50 years later on the age of 30,” he posted on X. “His function and impression on our understanding of the #universe shall be remembered for millennia.”

This text was and is reproduced with permission First revealed On April 10, 2024.

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