Peter Hicks, the British Nobel laureate in physics, has died

Higgs was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2013 for the discovery of the Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle”. He is 94 years old.

British physicist Peter Hicks died on Monday aged 94. The University of Edinburgh announced this on Tuesday. The scientist spent most of his life at the university. The Englishman gained world fame for his theory of the mass of elementary particles.

The discovery of the Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle,” at the Cern Research Center in Switzerland catapulted the theorist into the physics hall of fame. Along with Fran├žois Englert of Belgium, Higgs won the Nobel Prize in 2013 for his prediction of the mass particle.

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Although both theoretical physicists came up with mass theory at the same time in the mid-1960s, Higgs's name prevailed, but not Englert's – much to the dismay of the publicity-shy and reticent physicist. He believed that he was getting more fame than he deserved. The development of the thesis and the invention of the particle was a team effort.

“I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime,” Hicks told New Scientist, confirming his theory. But the situation changed when large particle accelerators were built. The atheist rejected the name “God particle” for his discovery.

Hicks was born on May 29, 1929, in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England, the son of a sound engineer. As a child he suffered from asthma and was initially taught by his mother. In addition to his academic career, he was also politically active.

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Until his death, the scientist was very popular among his colleagues and the media. Over time, Hicks gave interviews less and less, preferring to concentrate on music, films and books, above all else, a spokesman for the University of Edinburgh once said. (APA/dpa)

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