Nobel Laureate Scientist Peter Higgs Dies at 94

( – The fields of science are always rife with new discoveries. Talented men and women dig beyond the surface to make their mark on the industry, with some gaining fame along the way. The scientist behind the Higgs boson discovery was one such figure. He has now passed away.

Peter Higgs died at home on Monday, April 8, due to a blood disorder, his longtime friend and fellow professor, Alan Walker, said. He was 94.

During his long life, Higgs made history and won the Nobel prize for his work in physics, though that came 50 years after the groundbreaking discovery of what is now known as the Higgs boson.

Higgs expressed an interest in physics at a young age while attending grammar school. He went on to study mathematics in high school and physics at King’s College London, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the subject. He would then put that to work as a lecturer and researcher, eventually working his way up to emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh. In 1954, he earned his PhD.

During his research, the physicist came upon what’s referred to as the Higgs field, which came before the Higgs boson. This was acknowledged as a new kind of field, one that fills the universe and gives mass to every elementary particle. The Higgs boson is a wave (known as a particle) in that field, and by discovering the wave, it confirmed the existence of the field. Yet the physicist happened upon that by pure accident. He was actually trying “to solve the strong force,” one that holds atomic nuclei together.

Higgs wrote two papers on the subject. The first one was rejected, but after he “spic[ed] it up,” emphasizing the prediction of that particle, it was received. However, he wasn’t the first to showcase those findings. He was, however, the one it was named after. In 2012, he earned the Nobel Prize for his research.

In his final years, Higgs lived a rather humble life, preferring nature over technology, in which he never indulged. He and his wife, Jody Williamson, whom he met during the disarmament movement, had two children, Christopher and Jonathan. His wife predeceased him in 2008. He leaves behind his sons and two grandchildren.

Copyright 2024,