The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for their work on the theory of the Higgs boson.
Peter Higgs, from the UK, and François Englert from Belgium, shared the prize “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, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider”.
In the 1960s they were among several physicists who proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass.
The mechanism predicts a particle – the Higgs boson – which was finally discovered in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Switzerland.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for their work on the theory of the Higgs boson
“This year’s prize is about something small that makes all the difference,” said Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
FrançoisEnglert said he was “very happy” to win the award.
“At first I thought I didn’t have it [the prize] because I didn’t see the announcement,” he told the Nobel committee, after their news conference was delayed by more than an hour.
Prof. Peter Higgs, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “I am overwhelmed to receive this award and thank the Royal Swedish Academy.
“I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to the discovery of this new particle and to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their support.
“I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research.”
CERN director general Rolf Heuer said he was “thrilled” that this year’s prize had gone to particle physics.
“The discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN last year, which validates the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism, marks the culmination of decades of intellectual effort by many people around the world,” he said.
Three U.S. scientists have discovered that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, not slowing down as previously thought.
The discovery, found by measuring the light from distant supernova explosions, turned the world of physics upside down – as well as the lives of the three American scientists who have been awarded a Nobel Prize for their findings.
The Nobel Prize for Physics winners studied dozens of exploding stars and realized that the expansion of the universe wasn't slowing down, as expected - it was accelerating
Half of the 10 million Swedish crown – $1.5million – Nobel Prize money went to Saul Perlmutter and the rest to two members of a second team which conducted similar work – American-born Brian Schmidt, who is based in Australia, and Adam Riess.
Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter
Nobel Committee for Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in its statement that the discovery was made by looking at distant supernovae – which should have been becoming “brighter” as their acceleration away from our planet slowed down.
But instead of their light becoming brighter, it was fading.
“The surprising conclusion was that the expansion of the universe is not slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it is accelerating,” the Nobel committee said.
Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt
At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Adam Riess, who was still in his 20s when the research was published, joked to a colleague that he had been quick to react to a pre-dawn call from Stockholm:
“When I picked up the phone early this morning and I heard Swedish voices, I knew it wasn’t IKEA.”
Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess
Among the most exciting possible developments from study of dark energy would be a way to reconcile anomalies between physical laws observed at the subatomic level – quantum physics – with the laws Albert Einstein described.