Peter Higgs

Peter Ware Higgs, CH, FRS, FRSE, FKC (* May 29, 1929 in Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne ) is a British physicist. On 8 October 2013, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the development of the Higgs mechanism with François Englert.


Higgs is the son of a sound engineer of the BBC and went to Bristol and London to the school. He studied, received in 1950 a Bachelor in Physics with honors ( First Class Honours ) and reached in 1951 a Master's degree. 1954 doctorate Higgs with the work of Some Problems in the Theory of Molecular Vibrations at King's College London with Christopher Longuet- Higgins. In 1954/55 he worked at the University of Edinburgh, 1956 at University College London and from 1957 at Imperial College London, each with research grants.

Higgs was briefly Lecturer ( approximately comparable to a lecturer ) of Mathematics at Imperial College and returned back in 1960 as Lecturer in Mathematical Physics to Edinburgh. There he wrote in 1964, the work that made ​​him famous later. In 1970 he was Reader (a kind of professor without chair ) in Edinburgh, from 1980, he was on a personal Chair ( an award for outstanding scientific achievements ) Professor of Theoretical Physics in Edinburgh. He retired in 1996.

Higgs is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh ( 1974), the Royal Society (since 1983) and the Institute of Physics ( since 1991). In 1981 he was awarded with TWB Kibble, the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, in 1984 also with Kibble the Rutherford Medal of the Institute of Physics. In 1997 he was awarded the Dirac Medal. In 1997 he was awarded with Robert Brout and François Englert the High Energy and Particle Physics Prize of the European Physical Society in 2004 and received all three the Wolf Prize in Physics. 2010 have been awarded the Sakurai Prize Higgs, Robert Brout, François Englert, Gerald Guralnik, Hagen and TWB Kibble Carl R.. In 2013 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award along with François Englert. Higgs holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Bristol ( 1997), Edinburgh ( 1998) and Glasgow ( 2002). In 2013 he was awarded with François Englert the Nobel Prize in Physics; even before he was traded to my favorites for this.

Peter Higgs is the father of two sons.


Higgs is best known for his work that led to the Higgs mechanism, named after him in particular (published 1964). This is a generalization of the developed by Philip W. Anderson ideas for solid state physics, especially superconductivity, on the relativistic quantum field theory. His famous in retrospect work was initially rejected by the European journal Physics Letters ( after this, however, had previously published a first work of Higgs, in which he pointed to a gap in Goldstonetheorem ). He then published in the U.S. journal Physical Review Letters, in which he first mentioned that in an addendum later named after him, the Higgs particle. The work initially met with skepticism, but their importance has been recognized by Freeman Dyson, the Higgs in 1965 invited to give a lecture at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Independently and at the same time the Higgs effect by François Englert and Robert Brout in Brussels and Gerald Guralnik, Hagen and TWB Kibble, Carl R. was discovered at the Imperial College in London. As the standard model was developed in the late 1960s but did not become Higgs ' name for the effect, which from that time became very well known. After Higgs own statements he was at that time but no connection to the more rapid development of theoretical physics in the early 1970s.

Almost 50 years after Higgs ' release announced by scientists from the European nuclear research center CERN, it was them at the Large Hadron Collider for the first time succeeded in all probability, a boson with a mass of about 125 GeV / c ² prove, which is about the long- sought Higgs boson could act. Evidence for this comes with two independent detectors, the LHC experiments ATLAS and CMS. At the press conference, which was held at CERN on 4 July 2012, Peter Higgs himself was present.