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Peter Higgs: The Man Behind the Higgs Boson

The Scottish physicist has lent his name to one of the most well-publicized physics experiments in history. The search for the Higgs boson would support physic's Standard Model.

What’s the Latest Development?

At the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, whisper’s were recently heard from physics’ most anticipated particle: the Higgs boson. The title of the particle, thought to endow matter with mass, comes from Professor Peter Higgs of Edinburgh University in Scotland. In an interview, Higgs said the Standard Model would have trouble remaining internally consistent without finding the boson. Some physicists, like Stephen Hawking, disagree. A boson is a particle that contains a force, like photons, which convey the electromagnetic force. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Physics is undergoing a golden age of research, thanks in great part to the Large Hadron Collider. Perhaps no experiment has been more visible to the public since those that confirmed Einstein’s theory of special relativity. This might not be a good thing, says Higgs, who thinks the Higgs boson has been publicized so much that it has become synonymous with the Large Hadron Collider. The danger is that once found, or not found, those who fund the LHC may conclude that the machine has served its purpose.

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