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Physicist Peter Higgs in Italy in 1996

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Groundbreaking theoretical physicist Peter Higgs has died at age 94. Higgs’s work explaining how elementary particles get their mass gained him the Nobel prize in 2013 and fashioned a key ingredient in the usual mannequin of particle physics. He died in his residence in Edinburgh, UK, on 8 April after a brief sickness.

In 1964, whereas working as a lecturer on the College of Edinburgh, Higgs made a prediction that might show to have a big impact on the world of physics: he postulated the existence of a discipline suffusing the universe that gave mass to particles moments after the large bang. This discipline can be related to a particle of its personal, which was later named the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson went on to develop into a foundational prediction of the usual mannequin of particle physics, nicknamed the “god particle” – a moniker that Higgs himself referred to as “an unlucky mixing of theoretical physics with unhealthy theology” in a 2017 interview with New Scientist.

After years of trying to find proof of the Higgs boson, it was lastly found on the CERN particle physics laboratory in Switzerland in 2012. A 12 months later, Higgs was awarded the Nobel prize, certainly one of many prizes and honours he acquired for his work.

The invention of the Higgs boson is often cited as probably the most consequential work of the Giant Hadron Collider, nevertheless it additionally marked the start of a wierd time in particle physics – with the entire particles predicted by the usual mannequin discovered, what’s subsequent? Higgs himself hoped that we’d have the ability to use colliders to attach particle physics with cosmology and the seek for darkish matter, however these questions stay open.

Even after his retirement in 1996, Higgs continued to attend physics conferences and to collaborate with colleagues and college students. He spoke usually about supersymmetry, a framework for physics wherein every recognized particle has a corresponding companion with a distinct spin. If we do dwell in a supersymmetric universe, there must be many extra particles on the market to find.


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