Peter Higgs: the making of a Nobel Prize winning scientist?


Well everyone is writing about him as I type these words so why should I be the exception?

Today, the 4th July, is not only Independence Day in the US but the day that the world may well celebrate in future for the confirmed discovery of the Higgs Boson (‘God’) particle – in deed someone has suggested on twitter that it should be renamed ‘Interdependence Day’.

Here are some facts.

Peter Higgs, a Fellow of the Royal Society where until recently I used to work in science and maths education policy, will probably be nominated for a Nobel Prize because his theory of the existence of a gravitational particle seems to have been proven.

He received his education at Cotham Grammar School in Bristol where another great physicist, Paul Dirac, had been before him. Following stays at various English universities he ended up permanently in Edinburgh – the Scots will now claim him for their own and if Andy Murray wins Wimbledon they may be celebrating a different independence day soon ….

A number of papers were published by him and other physicists in 1964 that constituted the theory of the Higgs field.

According to his wiki profile he is an atheist, so doesn’t like the name ‘the God particle’ and he used to be a member of Greenpeace.

My question to everyone about Peter Higgs goes as follows: what makes a ground-breaking scientist, when can we identify that this could be a potential outcome for someone, and how do we ensure that, whoever they are, they have the opportunity to follow the same route?

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One thought on “Peter Higgs: the making of a Nobel Prize winning scientist?

  1. This was a fairly rapid post just to get something out on twitter and there is more information on the links, but point noted.

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