Peter Higgs theory

January 13, 2020

Profile: Peter Higgs - BBC

Peter Higgs responds to Nobel awardHowever, after struggling with his theories in the 1960s without much support, the subsequent transition to celebrity has not been a comfortable one for him.

"Nobody else took what I was doing seriously, so nobody would want to work with me, " he said in an interview on The Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4. "I was thought to be a bit eccentric and maybe cranky."

Asked how he feels about being stopped in the street now and asked for his autograph, he said: "It's a bit of a nuisance sometimes, frankly."

The Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, provides mass to the most basic building blocks of matter. Without it, the Standard Model theory that combines all the fundamental forces and particles of the universe would have fallen down.

Higgs predicted the existence of the particle while working at Edinburgh University in 1964. But until its momentous discovery at the LHC near Geneva in 2012, it had proved impossible to track down.

Higgs said he initially failed to appreciate the significance of his theory.

"It seemed to me that this was an important result which I had got, but of course it wasn't clear at the time how it would be applied in particle physics, and those of us who did the work in 64 were looking in the wrong place for the application, " he confesses.

Eventually it was left to others, led by Steven Weinberg, to build on Higgs' work and put together the Standard Model.

Higgs regrets missing an opportunity when he met American Nobel Laureate Professor Sheldon Glashow at the first Scottish Universities Summer School in Physics in 1960.

"There were a group of students at the summer school who stayed up halfway through the night discussing things like weak and electromagnetic interactions, but I wasn't part of that – I was on the committee, and I had work to do, so I didn't stay up all night, so I didn't learn about Glashow's theory when I could have."

In 1979, Glashow was awarded the physics Nobel Prize for work on electroweak interactions, which made a major contribution to the Standard Model.

Higgs also talks frankly about his marriage to Jody Williamson, an American linguist in 1972. "When my wife and I got married, she thought of me being an easygoing person and I warned her I wasn't.

"I was easygoing in terms of being adaptable in my social life. But maybe I suffered a personality change in the mid-60s and became more dedicated to things involving work because it had become successful in some way."

After the publication of the Standard Model, Higgs admits he was left behind as the field continued to develop.

Peter Higgs did not know he had won Nobel Prize
Peter Higgs did not know he had won Nobel Prize
CERN-Best of Higgs Field Theory physicists.
CERN-Best of Higgs Field Theory physicists.
Peter Higgs (Boson) visits his former school
Peter Higgs (Boson) visits his former school

What did Peter Higgs discover in the Atomic Theory? | Yahoo Answers

He is best known for his 1960s proposal of broken symmetry in electroweak theory, explaining the origin of mass of elementary particles in general and of the W and Z bosons in particular. This so-called Higgs mechanism, which was proposed by several physicists besides Higgs at about the same time, predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson (which was often described as "the most sought-after particle in modern physics". CERN announced on 4 July 2012 that they had experimentally established the existence of a Higgs-like boson, but further work is needed to analyse its prop…

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