50th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Higgs Revolution

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first in a series of articles introducing the world to the Higgs/Englert/Brout/Guralnik/Hagen/Kibble mechanism (or what everyone tends to call the Higgs mechanism because, well, it is much shorter).  This mechanism is the theoretical framework by which certain particles acquire their mass (in whole or in part, depending upon the particle).

Note that Peter Higgs was but one of many individuals who arrived at this model concurrently. His was not even the first paper out of the gate. It is also worth noting that the second Higgs paper was initially rejected for publication. Higgs then added to the end of the paper a prediction that his hypothetical field could be excited to form a boson, which we now refer to as the Higgs boson, and re-submitted his paper for publication in PRL.  It was this boson whose discovery was announced on July 4, 2012 and for which Higgs and Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013. (Sadly, Robert Brout passed away in 2011.)

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About Glen Mark Martin

MCSE-Messaging. Exchange Administrator at the University of Texas at Austin. Unrepentant armchair physicist.
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