Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2013 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded Today

The Royal Academy of Sciences gave the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly to Dr.'s François Englert and Peter W. Higgs “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider”. The Noble Laureates independently proposed the theory for how particles acquire mass in 1964 and saw their ideas confirmed last year with the discovery of the Higgs particle.

This represents the Standard model of elementary particles:
You can see representations for 12 fundamental particles
that make up matter (orange and green boxes) and
4 fundamental force carriers (purple boxes).

Dr.'s Higgs and Englert are both Professors Emeritus at University of Edinburgh, UK and Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium respectively. Their theory is central to the Standard Model of particle physics which describes the construction of the world based on the interaction between matter particles and force particles. The Standard Model relies on the existence of the Higgs particle which originates from an invisible field. The theory for which Higgs and Englert received this award describes the process where particles acquire mass when they interact with the invisible field.

Congratulations Dr. François Englert and Dr. Peter W. Higgs! Thank you for your contribution to our understanding of the physical world!

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