The Inevitable Nobel
As soon as the news broke last July of the discovery of a new particle with the mass of what The Higgs Boson should possess, you knew that the Nobel Prize in Physics this year would be awarded to Peter Higgs, who first proposed the idea of a Higgs field as a way of explaining the mass of particles. He did this back in 1964. The year I was born. That is a long time ago. Yesterday the Nobel Prize committee announced that Peter Higgs as well as Francois Englert were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physisc for their discovery of the Higgs Boson. Englert and his colleague Robert Brout, who passed away in 2011, were the first to publish their idea followed closely by the young Peter Higgs’ version of the theory in the journal, Physical Review Letters. Three other physicists — Tom Kibble of Imperial College, London; Carl Hagen of the University of Rochester; and Gerald Guralnik of Brown University — were writing their own paper on this same topic at this time also. But were beaten to the punch by Higgs and Englert.
The discovery of the Higgs Boson was the last piece needed to verify the Standard Model of Physics. So what exactly is this Higgs field and Higgs Boson? I am glad you asked because I have found this really neat animation that explains it all very lucidly.