Peter Ware HiggsPhysicist
Born: 29 May 1929
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Best known as:
The physicist behing the Higgs boson or 'God's particle'
Peter Higgs is a theoretical physicist who in 1964 published the idea that subatomic particles gained mass by way of an as-yet-undiscovered particle (or field) that has since been called the Higgs boson. Peter Higgs grew up in Birmingham and Bristol, then went to King's College in London in 1947. By 1954 he'd earned his doctorate and had moved to doing research at the University of Edinburgh. Between 1960 and 1980 Higgs was a mathematics professor there, and from 1980 until his retirement in 1996, he was a professor of theoretical physics. His theory of the missing boson drove physics research for decades, and on 4 July 2012 the European research center CERN (Centre Européen de Recherche Nucleaire) announced that they had maybe-yes-looks-like they'd finally found the elusive Higgs boson. That's one more step in understanding what's called the Standard Model of how the universe works. Things are made of atoms, atoms are made of subtomic particles, which are made of even smaller things, none of which on their own have mass, just energy. So where does mass come from? Higgs (and others) came up with the theory of particle interaction that explains how that happens.
The Higgs boson has also been called the "God particle," a name that most scientists, including Higgs, shun.
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