Professor Peter Higgs, Belgian theoretical physicist François Englert and CERN laboratory have been jointly awarded the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, for the theoretical prediction and experimental detection of the Higgs boson.
“I am delighted and greatly honoured to be awarded the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, shared with François Englert and CERN. I too wish to pay tribute to the late Robert Brout who, with his colleague François Englert, initiated a programme of theoretical research, too often associated with my name alone”. Peter Higgs
In 1964, the pioneering work of Higgs and of Englert and Brout (the latter died in 2011) established the theoretical basis for the existence of the so-called Higgs boson. This particle completes the Standard Model, which describes the fundamental components of Nature, and is responsible for certain elementary particles possessing mass. For nearly half a century, efforts to find the Higgs boson were unsuccessful due to the enormous experimental difficulties associated with its precise and unequivocal detection. The Higgs boson was finally identified in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS detectors of the LHC particle accelerator at CERN, a milestone for the entire scientific community.
The discovery of the Higgs boson is a prime example of how Europe has led a collective effort to solve one of the deepest mysteries of physics.