Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The 2013 Nobel prize in Physics awarded to Peter Higgs and François Englert

The 2013 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to two particle physics theorists - François Englert and Peter W. Higgs today “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.”

The theorists published their papers independently in 1964 – the first one by François Englert and Robert Brout, and, a month later, a pair of papers by Peter Higgs

In the graph below you can see the number of citations that each of the papers received yearly since 1964 when they were published, peaking in 2012 with the latest Higgs boson search results.

Click on the image to enlarge
The theories were confirmed on 4th July 2012, by ATLAS and CMS, the two experiments at the LHC that were searching for the new particle. The two collaborations include more than 3000 people each.

The two papers published shortly after the first evidence presented by the experiments, accumulated enormous numbers of citations in just one year. 

About a month ago the ATLAS experiment made the datasets behind the likelihood function associated to the Higgs boson property measurements available to the public in digital format. The datasets can be easily accessed on INSPIRE.

More about the Nobel prize in today's CERN press release.

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