Two scientists have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for independent work in developing new theories about mass and sub atomic particles.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Monday that theoretical physicists François Englert and Peter Higgs have been awarded this year’s prize. The Academy praised Englert and Higgs “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 first proposed the “Higgs mechanism”, a small particle that gives other particles mass, in 1964. After more than 40 years of work, the European particle physics laboratory CERN discovered the so-called Higgs boson, a particle that is a crucial element to that mechanism. Physicists at the laboratory further confirmed the discovery this year.
Higgs, who is from the U.K., and Englert, who is from Belgium, will split the prize 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.25 million).