The Moment When Nobel Prize Winner Peter Higgs Learned That His Particle Had Been Found

A scientist moved to tears

Nearly five decades ago, Peter Higgs sent physicists on a chase to find a particle that gives the universe its mass. Today, at age 84, he, along with physicist François Englert, received the Nobel Prize in physics for their work.

The video above comes from the day last July when scientists at CERN made the announcement that they believed they had finally found that particle, the Higgs Boson. At minute 0:50, the camera pans to Peter Higgs, where you can see him tearing up at the news.

But what is really lovely is what Higgs later told The Guardian's science correspondent Ian Sample, as he recalled that day:

I was about to burst into tears. I was knocked over by the wave of the reaction of the audience. Up until then I was holding back emotionally, but when the audience reacted I couldn't hold back any more. That's the only way I can explain it.

As Sample tweeted this morning

And, he added, "who can not love that?"

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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