Thousands sign up for Higgs course at Edinburgh University

Professor Peter Higgs Professor Peter Higgs was at Edinburgh University when he developed the boson theory

Related Stories

More than 10,000 people have signed up for an online course to study the work of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Professor Peter Higgs.

The free seven-week course run by Edinburgh University, The Discovery of the Higgs boson, begins this week.

Prof Higgs theorised that particles acquire mass by interacting with a field spread throughout the universe.

His concept sparked a 40-year hunt for the Higgs "boson" particle needed to carry and transmit the field's effect.

Online students

The search for the so-called "God particle" culminated in July 2012 when a team from the European nuclear research facility at Cern in Geneva announced the detection of a particle that fitted the description of the elusive Higgs.

Start Quote

Professor Higgs' research has provided us with profound insight into the building blocks of the universe”

End Quote Prof Arthur Trew Edinburgh University

Scientists used the world's biggest atom-smashing machine, the £2.6bn Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, to track down the missing particle.

Edinburgh University said online students will explore the scientific breakthroughs that led to the building of the Large Hadron Collider and to the detection of the boson.

The course features interviews with Prof Higgs and filmed lectures with physicists from the Higgs Centre at the university.

Students will be encouraged to debate what they have seen using online forums and social media.

Professor Arthur Trew, head of the school of physics and astronomy at Edinburgh University, said: "Professor Higgs' research has provided us with profound insight into the building blocks of the universe and this course will allow anyone with a computer and access to the web to take part in the exciting and revolutionary times that we live in."

The online course is being run on the FutureLearn platform, a partnership of 23 universities, as well as the British Museum, British Council and British Library, that offers learners the opportunity to access high-quality courses for free.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC Edinburgh, Fife and East



Min. Night 1 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Need for speed

    Audi unveils its fastest production car ever - ahead of its Geneva debut


  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.