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Why is it called the Higgs particle?

Peter Higgs wrote two papers on the existence of such a particle, becoming the first to mention explicitly that the theory demanded a new particle in nature, which was given the name Higgs boson in 1972.

In case they decide to award the Nobel price for the discovery, who should be honored?

(taken from "The Guardian")

Traditionally, the science Nobel prizes are given to a maximum of three people, whose contributions are judged to be the most important. Two teams of scientists at Cern, amounting to thousands of people, carried out the painstaking work of spotting traces of the particle amid the subatomic debris of more than a thousand trillion collisions inside the Large Hadron Collider. All deserve credit for that effort. But this is the least of the Nobel committee's problems. The prize is more likely to go to theoretical physicists who worked on the theory of particle masses almost 50 years ago. Here the parentage becomes more muddled.

Six physicists published the theory within four months of each other in 1964. They built on the work of others.

The first to publish, that August, were Robert Brout and François Englert at the Free University of Brussels. Brout died in 2011, and the award cannot be given posthumously.

Second to publish was Peter Higgs, with two papers on the theory in September and October 1964. In his second paper, he became the first to mention explicitly that the theory demanded a new particle in nature, which was given the name Higgs boson in 1972. Drawing attention to the particle was crucial, because it gave scientists something concrete to hunt.

Third to publish was a group of three theorists, including two US researchers, Dick Hagen and Gerry Guralnik, and a British physicist, Tom Kibble. Their work was published in November. All three teams worked independently.

So there are at least five living physicists who can lay claim to the Nobel prize. If the particle discovered at Cern is confirmed to be the Higgs boson, then Higgs is certain to be honoured. That leaves four physicists competing for two places. Englert published first, and would be hard to dismiss. That leaves one place left.

The quandary raises a familiar issue for the Nobel committee. Restricting those honored with a Nobel helps maintain their prestige. But in modern science, few discoveries are born in final form from so few parents.

How did the Higgs boson get the nickname ?the God particle?

Nobel laureate Leon Lederman, a Fermilab physicist, wrote a book in the early 1990s about particle physics and the search for the Higgs boson. The publisher chose this nickname for improving the book sales. Many scientists do not like that nickname.

What would the world look like without the Higgs boson or a similar particle?

The world would not be as we know it today. Without the Higgs boson or something like it giving mass to the basic building blocks of matter, electrons would not form unions with protons to make atoms. No atoms=no molecules=no ordinary matter =no life!