Purdue Particle Physics: Theory of Higgs field earns Nobel Prize

Theory of Higgs field earns Nobel Prize, Purdue physicists part of experiment that proved it

10-08-2013

Author(s):Elizabeth K. Gardner

The 2013 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday (Oct. 8) was awarded to François Englert and Peter Higgs for their work in developing the theory of the Higgs field, and Purdue University researchers were part of the international experiment that proved its existence.

Purdue's particle physics group has been among the team of international scientists working on experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, laboratory and the hunt for the Higgs boson for more than two decades. In July of 2012, their work culminated in an historical moment when representatives of the international collaboration announced the discovery of the Higgs particle, which proves the existence of the Higgs field.

"The prediction of the Higgs field was fundamental and ahead of its time as it has taken 50 years to prove it," said David Miller, a professor of physics at Purdue who was part of the Compact Muon Solenoid, or CMS, experiment at CERN. "Purdue faculty, staff and students who had a hand in the discovery of the Higgs particle are celebrating this Nobel Prize and the brilliance of Peter Higgs and Francois Englert." 

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