Peter Higgs is a British physicist who proposed the existence of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle, which was confirmed through the discovery at CERN, a European Organization for Nuclear Research, in 2012. He and Belgian physicist François Englert were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles.” The Higgs boson is the fundamental particle associated with the Higgs field, a field that gives mass to other fundamental particles such as electrons and quarks.Higgs was born in England in 1929. He was taught at home as a child. Later, he attended Cotham Grammar School in Bristol and was inspired by the work of the school alumnus Paul Dirac founder of the field of quantum mechanics. Peter Higgs graduated in Physics from King’s College London in 1950 and achieved a master’s degree in 1952. He was awarded a Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1951 and performed his doctoral research in molecular physics under the supervision of Charles Coulson and Christopher Longuet-Higgins. He received his PhD degree in 1954 and became a lecturer in mathematical  physics at Edinburgh in 1960 and remained there till his retirement in 1996.

In 1956, Higgs began working in quantum field theory. In 1964, he proposed the theoretical existence of the Higgs Boson. Higgs developed the idea that particles – massless when the universe began – acquired mass a fraction of a second later as a result interacting with a theoretical field (which became known as the Higgs field). Higgs postulated that this field permeates space, giving mass to all elementary subatomic particles that interact with it. Independently of one another, both Peter Higgs and the team of François Englert and Robert Brout proposed this mechanism. In 1964, Physical Review Letters, published Higg’s paper which predicted a new massive spin-zero boson (now known as the Higgs boson). In 2012, two experiments conducted at the CERN laboratory in Geneva confirmed the existence of the Higgs particle. Definitive confirmation that the particle was the Higgs boson was announced in March 2013.

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