Peter Higgs, 84, emeritus professor of theoretical physics at the University of Edinburgh, Britain, and Francois Englert, 80, professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


For proposing the existence of a special type of subatomic particle, since named the Higgs boson, whose features were confirmed last year through experiments conducted at CERN, the gigantic international particle research laboratory on the Swiss-French border.


The existence of the Higgs boson is needed to explain how particles acquire mass. That provides a fundamental pillar of the physics theory which explains the origins of the universe by describing how matter came into being shortly after the Big Bang.