Home of Higgs’ pioneering theory offers Nobel congratulations

The University of Edinburgh has welcomed the award of a Nobel Prize in Physics to Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Professor Higgs and Professor Francois Englert for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass 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.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ award to Professor Higgs recognises his outstanding contribution to the theoretical work that led to the prediction of the Higgs boson particle.

Scientists at CERN recently confirmed the existence of the particle, which was first postulated by Professor Higgs in 1964, when he was a young lecturer at Edinburgh.

The Higgs boson enables other fundamental particles to acquire their mass. Its discovery represents a major step in our understanding of the physical Universe.

“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.” Prof. Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Edinburgh

“We are delighted at the news of this Nobel Prize award and congratulate Professor Peter Higgs on his achievement. The discovery of the Higgs particle will underpin the next generation of physics research, and this accolade is worthy recognition of its significance. Professor Higgs’ work will continue to inspire scientists at Edinburgh and beyond.” Prof. Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh

"I would like to congratulate Peter and note how excited everyone in the School of Physics & Astronomy has been by him winning the Nobel Prize in Physics.

"His seminal work has not only given us deep insights into the workings of the Universe but it has also attracted a generation of young people to fundamental science. The search for the Higgs boson has created a worldwide interest in science not seen since the Moon landings - and that can only be good for civilisation." Prof. Arthur Trew, Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy

"On behalf of the Higgs Centre I would like to be among the first to congratulate Peter on receiving the ultimate accolade. While many theorists attempt to predict new physics, only a very few see their predictions actually come true! Peter’s prediction of the scalar boson discovered recently at CERN must rank among the most spectacular of all time, with profound implications for our understanding of the fundamental origin of mass." Prof. Richard Ball, Director of the Higgs Centre                                                                      

"The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Physics to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert is fantastic news and thoroughly deserved for their fundamental contribution to particle physics. The Atlas team at Edinburgh, who contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson last year, offer their congratulations and will no doubt offer a toast to the winners later in the day!" Dr Victoria Martin, Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics, School of Physics & Astronomy

"On behalf of the College of Science and Engineering, I would like to congratulate Peter on his outstanding achievement and hope that it will serve as an inspiration to all our up and coming young scientists - both faculty and students alike." Prof. Lesley Yellowlees, Head of College of Science & Engineering