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?"

Presented by

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.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In