Professor Peter Higgs to get Edinburgh Medal

Peter Higgs and CERN will be given the joint medal
Peter Higgs and CERN will be given the joint medal
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The Edinburgh Medal is to be presented to world-renowned scientist Professor Peter Higgs and laboratory CERN in the first joint award in its history.

The award comes after CERN’s Large Hadron Collider detected the existence of an elusive, sub-atomic particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson. Prof Higgs was one of the first to suggest the existence of the particle that now bears his name.

Organisers said the double presentation had been made in “celebration of the spirit of collaboration in modern scientific endeavour”.

The medal, to be presented at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, is supported by the city council.

In 1964 Prof Higgs, now an emeritus professor at Edinburgh University, predicted the existence of a force-carrying particle, part of an invisible energy field that filled the vacuum throughout the observable universe.

Since it was first proposed, the search for confirmation of the particle has been the collaborative work of countless scientists. Last year, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider detected the existence of a sub-atomic particle consistent with the Higgs boson.

Prof Higgs said: “It is a pleasure to be awarded, jointly with CERN, the 25th Edinburgh Medal. The first medal, in 1989, was awarded to Abdus Salam, in whose group I was a research fellow 55 years ago and whose Nobel-winning theory a decade later made use of the ideas which had been proposed in 1964 independently by groups in Brussels and London and by myself in Edinburgh.”

Science Festival director Dr Simon Gage said: “The 25th anniversary of both the Edinburgh Medal and the Edinburgh International Science Festival seemed a fitting year to celebrate the importance of

scientific collaboration.”

Prof Higgs and Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of CERN, will deliver the Edinburgh Medal Address on Sunday, March 24 in the Signet Library.