UK physicist who worked on Higgs boson dies: university

2nd June 2016, Comments 1 comment

Tom Kibble, a leading British physicist whose work helped lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson, died Thursday aged 83, his university in London said.

In 1964, Kibble worked on one of the three earliest research papers theorising the existence of the Higgs Boson, a sub-atomic particle believed to explain how matter acquires mass.

In 2012, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced it had discovered a particle commensurate with the boson.

This led to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, who had worked on the two other papers in 1964, being jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2013.

Kibble told the Guardian that year that it had felt "quite surreal" to watch a webcast of the results from the CERN experiments.

"To find that something we'd done that long ago was again the focus of attention is certainly not a normal experience, even in physics," Kibble said. "It was rather peculiar."

In a statement, Professor Jerome Gauntlett, head of theoretical physics at Imperial College London, said Kibble had been a man of "extraordinary modesty and humility".

"Professor Sir Tom Kibble was distinguished for his ground-breaking research in theoretical physics and his work has contributed to our deepest understanding of the fundamental forces of nature," Gauntlett said.

"He was held in the highest esteem by his colleagues and students alike. He will be very sadly missed".

Imperial College did not give details of the cause of death.

© 2016 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • AlanCottey posted:

    on 1st July 2016, 13:01:58 - Reply

    Tom Kibble was a special person. Few can aspire to his brilliant talent for physics, but all may try to be as generous and modest. He practised this in his teaching and mentoring, in his relations with people, and in his concern for the social responsibility of the scientist. Over the years he was active in, among several similar organisations, Scientists for Global Responsibility, and the Martin Ryle Trust. He was helping the Trust in its work until shortly before his death.

    Alan Cottey, secretary, The Martin Ryle Trust