Follow Us:
Friday, August 19, 2022

‘God Particle’ in focus as Nobel season kicks off

Awarding the Higgs poses a conundrum for the Nobel committee,Tuesday will bring results.

The Nobel season kicks off on Monday amid expectations that the physics prize will honour the discovery of the ‘God Particle’,while a Pakistani girl who was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban could receive the peace prize.

The breadth of the field of candidates exemplifies how the Nobel Prize,seen by many as the planet’s most prestigious award,recognises both intellectual struggle with the

fundamental riddles of nature — and real battle against violations of basic human rights.

But it is the award for groundbreaking medical research that will be the focus of attention today at about 1500 IST,when Goeran K. Hansson,secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine,steps in front of the cameras at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute to announce this year’s winners.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key-August 19, 2022: Why you should read ‘RBI and Inflation’ or ‘Lor...Premium
‘Bridgerton’ season 2 star Charithra Chandran on why she may ...Premium
Newsmaker | Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, the giant killer and youngest Union C...Premium
Explained: The CBI’s Delhi excise casePremium

Only on Tuesday will it be clear if predictions are correct and the discovery of the Higgs Boson – widely hailed as one of the greatest scientific achievements of the past century – gets the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Without the Higgs,say theorists,we and all the other joined-up atoms in the universe would not exist.

Despite this,there is some conjecture that the Higgs will miss out. Officially,there remains a remote possibility that the new particle discovered last year is not a Higgs but some other novel particle.


Awarding the prize for the Higgs also poses a conundrum for the Nobel Committee: Should theoreticians or practitioners – or a hard-to-decide mixture of both – be on the podium? And how to reward a breakthrough that took the efforts of thousands of individuals?

Maria Gunther Axelsson,science editor at Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter,predicted that the prize would probably go some way towards recognising the collective nature of the effort that was behind the breakthrough.

“Francois Englert (from Belgium) is an obvious choice since he,along with Robert Brout,who died in 2011,was first to publish the theory behind the Higgs field,” she wrote in the paper’s Sunday edition.


“Fabiola Gianotti (of Italy) and Joseph Incandela (of the United States) will share the other half of the prize,because they were first to come up with the experimental results,” she forecast.

A record 259 nominations have been submitted for this year’s peace prize but the Norwegian Nobel Institute never discloses the list,leaving amateurs and experts alike to engage in a guessing game ahead of the October 11 announcement.

Malala Yousafzai,the Pakistani teen who survived a shot to the head last year by the Taliban for championing girls’ education,tops the list at bookmaker Paddy Power with odds 2-to-1.

First published on: 07-10-2013 at 12:19:20 pm
Next Story

Google,ASI usher in ‘digital tourism’ in India

0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by

Featured Stories