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  • Writer's pictureBrahmastra Aerospace

Higgs left us...!

Peter Higgs, a renowned physicist who made invaluable contributions to our understanding of the Universe on the smallest scales, passed away at the age of 94 at his home in Edinburgh. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, Higgs received his education at Kings College in London, where he graduated with First Class Honours in Physics in 1950. He then pursued his research under the supervision of Charles Coulson and Christopher Longuet-Higgins, which marked the beginning of his life-long interest in the application of symmetry to physical systems [1].

In 1964, Higgs independently proposed a theory about the existence of a particle that explains why other particles have a mass, along with François Englert and Robert Brout. This theory, known as the Higgs mechanism, was confirmed in 2012 through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, the Higgs boson, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider[2][3][4].

Higgs's work on fundamental particle interactions, especially those distinguished by the appearance of the so-called Higgs boson, has inspired much of high energy physics research over recent decades. He is most widely recognized for his 1964 papers on spontaneous symmetry breaking, which predicted the existence of a new kind of particle capable of giving all other particles mass[3].

Higgs's great discovery came at Edinburgh University, where he was considered an outsider for plugging away at ideas that many physicists had abandoned. His doggedness paid off, as he saw why and how to fix the theory in question, leading to the development of the Higgs mechanism[4].

Throughout his career, Higgs received numerous academic honours, including the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society (1981), the Rutherford Medal of the Institute of Physics (1984), the Saltire Society & Royal Bank of Scotland Scottish Science Award (1990), and the Paul Dirac Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics (1997)[1]. In 2013, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with François Englert, 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[3].

Peter Higgs's contributions to particle physics have left a lasting legacy in the field, and his work will continue to inspire future generations of physicists. His passing is a significant loss to the scientific community, but his discoveries and ideas will live on, shaping our understanding of the Universe for years to come.

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