The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics has gone to Britain’s Peter W. Higgs and Belgium’s Francois Englert, the Nobel Committee announced in Stockholm on Tuesday.
They were jointly awarded the prize for their work on a theory that offers an explanation for how the fundamental particles of the Universe acquire mass.
Last year, the pair’s work was confirmed after the discovery of the so-called Higgs particle — known also as the Higgs boson and the God particle — at a laboratory in Geneva.
“I am overwhelmed to receive this award and thank the Royal Swedish Academy,” Higgs said in a statement released by the University of Edinburgh. “I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research.”
Englert told the committee he was “very happy” at winning the award.
When the announcement was delayed by more than hour, Englert said he was not certain he had won.
The official citation from the awarding committee said the award was “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.”
Higgs was born in 1929 and is a professor at the University of Edinburgh. Englert was born in 1932 in Brussels and is associated with the university there.