Peter Higgs, Nobel-Winning Physicist, Dead at 94

( — Peter Higgs, a renowned physicist who won a Nobel Prize for his involvement in discovering the subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson, has died at the age of 94. News of Higgs’ death made headlines after the University in Edinburgh, located in the United Kingdom, shared information about the world-famous physicist’s death. Despite confirming that Higgs had died, the university didn’t provide a cause of death when releasing the tragic news.

Higgs had a lifelong career as a physicist, with his earliest work starting in the early 1960s. Higgs worked at the University of Edinburgh from 1960 until his death and hypothesized the existence of the Higgs boson, which serves as an essential particle for the Higgs field, which gives necessary particles like electrons their mass. Higgs proposed the existence of the Higgs boson in 1964 while working at the university, but physicists didn’t prove the theory correct until 2012. After scientists working with a hadron collider proved Higgs’ proposal correct, the renowned physicist won a Nobel Prize in 2013.

Although Higgs worked in Edinburgh for most of his life, his first home was in Bristol. As a teenager, Higgs became fascinated with math and science and began studying at a school in London to deepen his scientific understanding. Higgs graduated from London’s King College in 1947 and began working towards a doctorate in physics, eventually gaining his doctorate in 1954. Six years later, Higgs joined the University of Edinburgh, where he worked as an educator until his death.

Higgs’s theory about the Higgs boson, also colloquially called the god particle, was a revolutionary development in theoretical physics. Higgs’s work helped other scientists understand how atoms could exist and why certain forces, like magnetism, were stronger than others. Although it took scientists almost 50 years to prove Higgs’s hypothesis correct, many physicists operated under the assumption that Higgs’s theory was sound, an assumption that proved accurate.

While many of Higgs’s colleagues celebrated his contributions to science, particularly physics, others shared their memories about how humble and eccentric the renowned physicist was. One person close to Higgs claims that the scientist and educator never owned a computer, phone, or television and didn’t know he won a Nobel Prize until someone told him about it in person. Another person shared news about Higgs’ excitement for the 2012 discovery, which he felt wouldn’t occur during his lifetime. While Higgs’s death was a sad development in the scientific field, many physicists celebrated Higgs and called him an inspirational figure.

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