News FocusParticle Physics

Who Invented the Higgs Boson?

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Science  14 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6100, pp. 1286-1289
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6100.1286

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Now that experimenters have seen the Higgs boson, Peter Higgs gets the glory—or does he? Theorists say Higgs made a fairly narrow and esoteric advance that several other physicists made at the same time. Their intellectual leap was essential to the development of the standard model, but their papers didn't even mention the most important problem their work helped to solve. And the Higgs boson itself is in a way the byproduct of more important underlying physics. Some question whether the advance was a big enough step beyond previous work to merit a Nobel Prize. In any case, historians and prize committees must be careful to give credit where and for what it is due.