Peter Higgs was born in Newcastle, England in 1929. He is best known for postulating the existence of a field that exists throughout all of space which gives mass to fundamental particles, now known as the Higgs Field. This was verified experimentally through the discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN in March 2013. For this work, Higgs shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics with François Englert.
Higgs attended King’s College London where he earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in first mathematics and then physics. His career began as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He then became lecturer in mathematics at Imperial College London and University College London before returning to Edinburgh to accept an appointment as Lecturer at the Tait Institute of Mathematical Physics. Higgs’s research focused on the phenomenon of mass, where he developed theory of particles acquiring mass after the formation of the universe due to the interaction of a theoretical field which became known as the Higgs Field, eponymously. His early work led to the prediction of the Higgs Boson, a particle later empirically confirmed by experiment in the Large Hadron Collider located in Switzerland at CERN. His discovery is considered an important contribution to the standard model of physics.
Higgs was awarded the coveted 1997 Dirac Medal from the Institute of Physics. He even received a medal named in his honor, the Higgs Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012. His discovery of the Higgs Boson earned him the ultimate honor, the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013, shared with François Englert.
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