Peter Higgs receives the freedom of the city of Bristol

July 10, 2013 by
Filed under: News 

Prof Peter Higgs, the scientist who gave his name to the Higgs boson or ‘God particle’, is to be awarded the freedom of the city of Bristol.

Professor Peter Higgs

The retired Edinburgh University physicist – who went to Cotham Grammar School –  predicted the existence of the subatomic particle, which is thought to have been detected by the Large Hadron Collider last year. The school was visited by Prof Higgs in May last year and he will be recognised for his work at a ceremony this week.

“I think it is a wonderful thing and it is great that Bristol has recognised somebody who is clearly an original and creative scientist,” said Dr Malcolm Willis, headteacher at Cotham School.

Almost 40 years after Prof Higgs wrote two scientific papers on his theory, the discovery of a new particle that fitted the description of the elusive Higgs was announced at Cern in Geneva.

Dr Joel Goldstein, from the Cern project and a University of Bristol physicist, said: “Peter Higgs made some very important contributions to fundamental physics in the 1960s and his work really underpinned our current understanding of the way that the fundamental laws of nature work.

“Every physics student in their final year as an undergraduate or when they become a graduate student, learns about the theory that Higgs and his colleagues developed and everyone learns about the particle, so he is one of those big names that everyone has to know about. As a UK citizen, as a Bristolian and as a physicist, I am really very proud of what Higgs achieved and the recognition he is getting.”

Bristol was also the birth place of another famous physicist, Paul Dirac (1902-1984) who was born in the city and developed a key equiation for quantum mechanics.

From BBC News

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