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Higg's Boson

First postulated by Peter Higgs in 1964, the Higg's Boson is an elementary particle within the Standard Model which attempts to explain the families of sub-atomic particles into groups: quarks, leptons, fermions, hadrons, with the Higgs being a 'field' providing the mass for particles.

The possible discovery of the Higg's in 2012/3 places its mass at 125 GeV, which is mid-way between the mass it is expected to have for String theory (115) and the multiverse (140), so does not resolve that issue.

The Higgs Boson (symbol: H$^0$) explains the property of mass of some fundamental particles, and the weak force's short range.

Peter Higgs

Peter Higgs, b. 1929. Scottish professor of theoretical physics at Edinburgh University.

Theoretical physicist who wrote a seminal paper in 1964, in which he proposed a fundamental particle. This particle, if proved to exist, would be the particle which 'gives all other particles their mass'.

The search for this particle has been the focus of several major experiments, including the multi-billion euro LHC, Large Hadron Collider, at CERN, Switzerland/France. In the summer of 2012, it was announced that the range of energies necessary for this particle had been confirmed. This has considerably increased the likelihood that it exists.

Peter Higgs received the Nobel Prize in 2013 for his work. This recognition, nearly 50 years after his original proposal met with general dismissal, is also a testimony to his courage, not to mention patience!


Satyendra Nath Bose, 1894 - 1974, was an Indian theoretical physicist. His celebrated work includes work on quantum mechanics, for which his name is synonymous with:

- the Bose-Einstein condensate, a phase of matter in which particles are in the lowest possible quantum state.

- boson, one of the two classes of particles (fermion is the other). Bosons include photons, gluons, W and Z bosons (force carrying), graviton, the Higg's boson, and composite particles (e.g. mesons, deuterium, He4, and quasiparticles).

Higg's Particle

Searched for since Peter Higgs predicted its existence in 1964, in 2012 CERN announced its probable discovery, with a mass of 125 GeV. Its discovery allows the Higgs field to be explored. The Higgs is an important part of the Standard Model of particle physics, and explains which some fundamental particles have mass.

An electron and a positron can fuse together to form a Higg's particle. The probability of a Higgs forming a particle is proportional to the mass of the particle.

The mass of particles derives from the flip from states, and the resultant interaction with the condensate (where the injection or extraction of a particle will not change its characteristics).


CERN LHC provided the energy required for the collisions to produce a Higgs. Electrons and quarks were too light to form Higgs with any degree of certainty. The most likely particle to form the Higgs is therefore the heaviest, which is the top quark. Top quarks are 170 times the mass of a proton, and are top and anti-top. The Higgs will not decay into the top quark pair, since they are too heavy, but the opposite route is possible.

Top quarks decay very rapidly into other quarks. To make a pair of top quarks, two gluons are collided at very high energy. These in turn are generated by the collision of two protons.

The Higgs has been discovered to be 127 times the mass of a proton, so it was necessary to accelerate the protons to close to the speed of light to obtain the relativistic mass sufficient for the formation of such a massive particle.

The discovery of the Higgs has shown that the Standard Model is essentially correct.

Content © All rights reserved. Created : November 5, 2014 Last updated :June 29, 2015

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Werner Heisenberg

1901 - 1976

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Werner Heisenberg, 1901 - 1976. German physicist and proponent of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
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