Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Higgs boson: It was 'very nice to be right' says professor

Professor Peter Higgs
Image caption Professor Peter Higgs, 83, is a retired physicist from Edinburgh University

The retired professor who gave his name to the elusive "God particle" that scientists believe they have found has said it was "very nice to be right".

Professor Peter Higgs, 83, the retired physicist from Edinburgh University, hit on the concept of the Higgs mechanism in 1964 while hill walking.

Teams at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, found a new particle "consistent" with the Higgs boson.

The discovery was described as "momentous" and "a milestone".

However, the results are preliminary and more work is needed before scientists can be sure about what they have captured.

He could now be eligible for a Nobel Prize.

Energy machine

Prof Higgs gave his reaction to the discovery in a press conference at the university on Friday.

Asked whether he felt a sense of vindication, he said: "It's very nice to be right sometimes."

He added: "At the beginning I had no idea whether a discovery would be made in my lifetime because we knew so little at the beginning about where this particle might be in mass, and therefore how high an energy machine would have to go before it could be discovered.

"It's been a very long development over the years of the technology of building machines at higher and higher energy, and the Large Hadron Collider is the one which has been energetic enough and also intense enough in terms of the particle beams to do it.

"It's been a long wait but it might have been even longer, I might not have been still around."

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