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Peter Higgs, recipient of Nobel Prize in Physics for Higgs boson prediction, dies aged 94

Professor Peter Higgs at the Science Museum, London.
Professor Peter Higgs at the Science Museum, London. Copyright Sean Dempsey/PA via AP Photo
Copyright Sean Dempsey/PA via AP Photo
By Euronews
Published on Updated
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Peter Higgs was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013.

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Peter Higgs, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, has died aged 94.

The University of Edinburgh said in a statement that Higgs passed away peacefully at home on April 8 following a short illness.

Higgs was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 with François Englert for their theory that predicted the particle's existence.

They had each developed their theories of how particles acquire mass independently of each other in 1964.

In 2012, the Higgs boson's existence was confirmed by thousands of scientists' experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)'s Large Hadron Collider.

The theory is essential to the Standard Model of particle physics which describes the world as consisting of a few building blocks, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in 2013.

That model rests on the existence of the Higgs particle which originates from an invisible field that fills up space. The scientists theorised that particles, through contact with the invisible field, would acquire mass.

"Peter Higgs was a remarkable individual – a truly gifted scientist whose vision and imagination have enriched our knowledge of the world that surrounds us," Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement.

"His pioneering work has motivated thousands of scientists, and his legacy will continue to inspire many more for generations to come".

The university added that Higgs "was also a great teacher and mentor, inspiring generations of young scientists".

Higgs was born in Newcastle in 1929 and studied at King's College, University of London.

He had honorary degrees from multiple universities and spent much of his career at the University of Edinburgh, where he was an emeritus professor.

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